My name is Natalia Kills. Tonight, you are all getting killed.
On Wednesday night, Cherrytree Records’ Natalia Kills headlined the PopJustice/High Rise CMJ showcase at The Bell House in Brooklyn.
For faithful Muusers, it’s no secret I’ve always had a soft spot for Miss Kills. She kind of embodies everything I love in film, fashion and music: Dark, macabre style, carnal sexuality, and of course…killer beats.
But taking my own personal taste of the equation (which is sort of silly as this is a review, I digress), it’s clear to see that noise is starting to quickly build around Natalia’s name amongst trendy art magazines and music blogs across the globe, and she proved exactly why tonight.
While we waited to see Miz Kills (and after spilling my drink on myself within the first ten minutes of arriving), my fellow bloggy friends and I (Hard Candy Music and Jon Ali’s Blog) sat watching the other acts on the line-up, including Sky Larkin, Aikiu and Samuel, while the lovely and talented Colleen Nika spun some choice pop cuts in between acts as the resident PopJustice DJ (including a remix of Vanity 6‘s “Nasty Girl” that was absolutely BEYOND and Girls Aloud‘s “Something Kinda Ooooh” at my request–thank you!)
About ten minutes prior to 1 A.M. on early Thursday morning (an appropriately devilish hour), Kills finally came strutting out onto the stage with a duo of fellow femme fatales (or rather her “gang of bad ass bitches” as she described them in an interview with me on Wednesday) donning a fiery red overcoat, thick suede heels, and a pair of metal handcuffs dangling from an inner pocket.
“I’m about to break you,” Kills declared to the crowd as glass shattered into the speakers; the dull, throbbing beat of “Zombie” now quickly began grinding into the venue. All at once and in a flash, the stage was a flurry of black leather, sharp stilettos, and buxom bodies–just the way I like it, actually.
Having just returned from filling the opening spot for Kelis during her tour in Europe this month, Kills came to the stage locked and loaded with a sexy, new confidence and improved stage presence. Unlike the last time I saw her, the entertainer actually had room to work the stage and bust out some moves–a vast improvement from the crowded, awkward affair that was the Prince Peter show during Fashion Week a month ago.
Over the course of about twenty minutes, Kills busted through five tracks from her upcoming debut album (The Perfectionist) including “Wonderland” and “Mirrors” in what must have been one of the most rapid-fire sets I’ve ever seen.
The overcoat was quickly cast away after the first two songs for “Free,” revealing Kills’ Burlesque-ready lingerie. No, but seriously–her body is SICK. Like…out of control sex o’clock. As Jon aptly noted during the performance: “Her body is insane…I hate her.”
As the sharp synths of the Fernando Garibay-produced “Love Is A Suicide” came blazing into the room, my friends and I all looked over at each other with the same “Oh grrrll, now that’s a beat!” grin. The song, which was briefly featured in Episode 4 of the “Love, Kills XX” webisodes is a mega-catchy stormer simply begging to be a single. Please make it so, Camp Kills!
“You can run or you can hide, but sooner or later / It’s gonna cut like a knife, sooner or later,” Kills sang with her fist raised high; looking delightfully crazed with her hair all mussed up. She and her crew tussled onstage, pulling hair, gritting teeth and pointing guns (well, finger guns) in most deliciously brutal of ways. Gorgeous girls, killer heels and deadly intent: What more could a boy ever ask for?
And oh, yes–she whipped her hair back and forth. Repeatedly…and with FEELING.
After this showcase, I remain more convinced than ever that Natalia Kills is going to be BIG in 2011. Even if the crowd’s numbers dwindled as the night moved into the early morning hours, Kills still delivered a performance worthy of selling out the venues in Europe she’s been playing with Kelis (and soon stateside with Robyn in November).
As a result, you can safely continue to assume she’s still on top of my “Most Anticipated” list.
Oh, and don’t let all the gore and glamour fool you–she’s a total sweetheart in person! Just don’t tell her I told you so.
Some photos and footage courtesy of Jon Ali’s Blog and official MuuMuse bodyguard, life coach and part-time pool boy, Parker F. Thank you!
The Perfectionist will be released in early 2011. “Mirrors” was released on August 10. (iTunes)