2015.12.06 :: Kill Hannah w/ Dead Sara & Emp!re :: Brooklyn Bowl London
Words by Matt Stocks
Photos by Trudi Knight
It’s always a simultaneously sorrowful and joyous occasion when bands announce farewell tours. On the one hand you’re sad to say to goodbye to a group that played such a large part in sound tracking your formative years. But on the other hand, you’re excited to send them off in style in the company of those that you grew up going to gigs with.
The last couple of years have been rife with bands calling it a day, too. In recent months we’ve seen everyone from Kids In Glass Houses and The Blackout to Madina Lake and Lost Alone bid farewell to their fans, and for many this marked the full stop to their childhood, and the true end of an era.
Tonight we’re here to bid adieu to Kill Hannah, and we arrive at the Brooklyn Bowl an hour before doors open to find a sizeable queue of eager beavers primed and ready for one last night with the Chicago electronic rockers, for this is their last EVER UK show, and the fact that so many are here so early bodes well for a celebratory send off. It’s a bittersweet affair from the get go.
The first band on stage is Emp!re, and the young five-piece display immense energy from the outset, particularly their charismatic and versatile singer, who comes on like a cross between William DuVall (Alice In Chains) and Derrick Green (Sepultura). If they add a few hooks to their angular arrangements, they could show real promise further down the line. As it goes, they do an adequate job of kicking things off tonight.
The real revelation comes in the form this evening’s second act: the ridiculously talented Dead Sara. You’ll have to forgive us for not doing any pre-show research on the LA quartet. We saw the name, which displays a similar morbid fascination with dead women to tonight’s headliners (what’s with that?), and we assumed they’d just be a carbon copy of Kill Hannah. We could not have been more wrong: they’re like Hole, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin all rolled into one.
Not to take anything away from the main event – this is Kill Hannah’s night after all – but it’s impossible to understand, after seeing Dead Sara live for the first time, why they’re not headlining arenas on their own. It’s no over-exaggeration to say that their performance tonight is one of the Brooklyn Bowl’s musical highlights of 2015, and if you’ve never heard their music before then go and listen to “The Weather Man” immediately, and prepare to fall in love with your new favourite band.
We could go into much more detail about how bloody brilliant Dead Sara are – we didn’t even mention singer’s drum dive at the end of the set – but you really want to read about Kill Hannah, don’t you? That’s why those who came to the show arrived an hour early, and it’s why they stay behind for two hours afterwards to chat and get pictures with the band – the level of fandom Kill Hannah attract is borderline cultish, and we say that as a compliment.
In all honesty, the love we witness for the band throughout the evening is utterly heart warming, and there’s nothing we can really write to fully convey the adoration in the air. If you weren’t here then you missed out. Simply put, it’s been a truly triumphant night for the much beloved collective, and a fitting end to their pretty extraordinary legacy.
We’ll just leave this here for the fans, as a little something to remember the night by, and wish the band good fortune and happiness with their future endeavours. Thanks for the music Kill Hannah.
Here lies the setlist from their last ever UK show. RIP.
Boys & Girls
Ten More Minutes With You
Race The Dream
Black Poison Blood
Songs That Saved My Life
Love You To Death
New Heart 4 Xmas
Rebel Yell (Billy Idol cover)
Lips Like Morphine
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