Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kix - June 19, 2010

Kix had to be the best band I saw at M3. Cinderella comes close, but Steve Whiteman’s personality and Kix’s performance was better than even that of the mighty Cinderella. I will admit that prior to this night I wasn’t a huge Kix fan. I owned the album Blow My Fuse and that was about it. I liked the album a lot, but I didn’t really know much else about the band. When people would get all excited that Kix was coming to town, I didn’t quite understand it. I kept thinking, they only have one hit, why is everyone so juiced for them? Very na├»ve of me, I know, especially for someone who loves Guster, a band that may have had ½ of a hit.

Kix’s performance was right after Winger’s main stage set and immediately followed Bang Tango’s performance on the second stage. They came out to Hot Wire and I remember thinking to myself how much that song sounded like The Cult’s American Horse. So much so that I thought Kix was opening with a cover tune. They weren’t. As I would later learn, they were opening with Hot Wire a song from their 1991 follow up to Blow My Fuse. It was an excellent song and a heck of an opener. Kix immediately grabbed my attention and would have me riveted for the rest of the night.

Steve Whiteman was amazing on stage. He’s an incredible frontman with charisma to win anyone over. Add in the fact that he must live at the gym, judging by his abs and his energy, and you have the makings of a fine band leader. The rest of the group sounded exceptional and together they made a stupendous team.

Whiteman spent a lot of time addressing the crowd in between songs, which was a good thing. Being form the Maryland area, Kix was a fan favorite, and they loved Stevie. Whiteman was amusing during his talks with the crowd. He mentioned that, yes, he knows he talks with a lisp. A rock star with a lisp, kind of funny, wasn’t it? He talked about how it was good to be performing for this crowd and discussed how happy Kix was to be at M3 again. Prior to performing Don’t Close Your Eyes Steve mentioned how they were about to play their one hit. He spoke to the crowd, “We’ve got one hit That’s it. Just one.” I kept thinking that they were going to play Cold Blood, because to me, that was their one hit. That was the song that turned me onto the band. However, that wasn’t their hit, as research later showed. Steve was right, Don’t Close Your Eyes was their one hit.

By that point in their set, it didn’t matter to me if they had no hits, this was a band that I had to see live again. I needed to see their full set and a full performance. Steve mentioned that it was hard to choose songs to perform when you only had an hour of stage time. He was hoping that the fans were happy with the selection. Heck, Kix could have been covering Peter, Paul, and Mary and that crowd would have been happy.

The band fired off fan favorites including Sex, Cold Shower, Cold Blood, The Itch, Girl Money, and Blow My Fuse. Their performance of Blow My Fuse was utterly fantastic, sounding just like it did on the record, note for note, even more than 20 years later. When Steve asked the crowd if we were ready to blow his fuse, the place went wild, and I screamed alongside of everyone else as loud as I could.

When the band got to their big closer in Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I was hooked. I had thought that Cold Blood was going to be their last song of the night, which once again shows how much I didn’t know about the band. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah is a favorite amongst fans. Coming from Kix debut album, this has been a live concert closer staple for decades. Cousin Ryo was not aware of this until that night.

When Steve asked the crowd if they wanted to hear one more, the response was deafening. “Are you sure you want to hear one more?” he asked. The crowd roared a yes. Steve mentioned that they could play Yeah, Yeah, Yeah and the reaction was maddening. I remember thinking to myself that this must be a hell of a song.

It was. A drawn out, 12 minute version of Steve Whiteman’s failed attempt to get laid. The song is solid, but the live performance is exceptional. Whiteman hams it up with spins and twirls and then tells a story right in the middle of the performance. It’s the story telling that makes the live song so much fun.

When they got to the close of Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Kix had earned themselves a new fan. I told Rob Rockitt (of Hard Rock Hideout) that we had to see these guys live during a full set. I was blown away by this band. He mentioned that they stole the show at last year’s M3 and I could understand how that was the case.

Simply put, Kix was one of the best performances I’ve seen in a very long time. Filled with exceptional sound, talented musicians, and a very entertaining frontman, Kix has what it takes to entertain the masses and win over their fans. If you ever have the chance to see them live, I highly recommend it. They are a blast!

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