Playing 'God Games' On Tour With The Kills

Playing 'God Games' On Tour With The Kills

By Erica CampbellFeb 26, 2024

Last October, The Kills dropped their sixth studio album God Games, pulling us back into their world of gritty rock and roll while dragging us into a fresh, imaginative sonic territory. Vocalist Alison Mosshart and guitarist Jamie Hince hadn’t released a full-length album since 2016, and their apocalyptic, keyboard-first, futuristic collection of tracks was a bold reintroduction to a band that arguably doesn’t need one. Once their double single “New York” and “LA Hex” hit the airwaves, with the first building walls of revved-up distorted sound and the latter riding in with a sleazy, heated rhythm, it was off to races again, this time with less guitar, a new approach to songwriting and an urge to play the new songs live.

Ahead of their two-night stay at New York City’s Webster Hall, Mosshart narrates some of the highlights from the God Games tour thus far, from shatter-less wine glasses, to decorative fake IDs and celebrating their 22nd anniversary — here’s a first-hand look at the chaos of rock and roll and why she told PAPER, “I fucking love it.” Feeling FOM? Check out their upcoming tour dates below.

In Vancouver, as we were taking our bows at the end of the gig, a hundred roses came flying through the air, landing on stage all around us. They kept coming and kept coming. It was so beautiful and so impressive! The idea of going through an entire gig with these in your arms in the crowd… and finally, the great release! Thank you to whoever spoiled us like this. We picked up as many as I could!

In Seattle, we went and did a radio session at KEXP, which was lovely, and then later a gig at the Showbox. Here we are, psyching ourselves up to record, 100% not awake yet, straight out of the bus into the frying pan.

I love a day off not gonna lie. Salt Lake City, acclimatizing to 4,300 feet above sea level. Face mask. Wine in a paper cup. Writing postcards. Spaced out tripping.

Still tripping. Where’s the oxygen? Found some in a photo booth at the venue. I'm really pumped about the 666 t-shirt I found in a vintage store in Santa Cruz. This is the last time it’s been seen as from here on out, since it's been below freezing. Tundra vibes. Ice block minds. But hot damn, the Salt Lake City crowd was electric!

Denver knows what’s up. At 5,500 feet above sea level, there’s an oxygen tank lurking around every corner. It’s like an accessory, like a cool funky handbag, like a pair of sunglasses, like a poodle on a leash.

One of our favorite venues in the US is First Ave in Minneapolis. It’s iconic. The sound system is the greatest. The sight lines, the feel of the stage, the audience… up there with the best in the world. The crew running First Ave are so supremely good at what they do that you wish you could clone them. Minneapolis has something truly special, and I’m always so happy to arrive and so sad to leave.

The Rave in Milwaukee is haunted. There is a swimming pool in the basement that no one has swum in in 4671 years. It’s a crazy building. That night was freezing and the room filled up with wonderful wild energy for the gig. We got warm. We got hot. But here we are outside, backstage before going on, lit up by the security lights, looking like shadow puppets.

February 14 was The Kills's 22nd Anniversary, and it was also Valentine's Day. It was a beautiful night in Chicago celebrating both these things. The Audience was all loved up, making out in the balconies, twirling and clinging on tight. It was a truly perfect night.

In honor of our 22nd Anniversary, Jamie bought shatterproof wine glasses for the bus… because the bus is like an angry ship at sea and no glass thing can survive more than 4 or 5 minutes. You can shoot these glasses out of a canon and they just bounce! They live! Here, too, is the beautiful celebratory wine we drank after the gig that night in Chicago.

The coffee machine in the dressing room wasn’t working in Detroit so we found ourselves in the back office using the staff's. This is where we discovered an entire fridge freezer full of fake IDs and fake money that had been confiscated at St. Andrews Hall. It was like a fine art show, but better.

Jamie with all the energy of a 12-year-old at soundcheck in Detroit. Running to get the sound!

After show in Cincinnati we went to the Lodge, this cool art space our friend Johnny’s got. During the pandemic, they somehow wound up with a dead stock surplus of mascot heads. Jamie demonstrates what a cat would if a cat could.

Backstage coffee table still. Things. Ohio.

More Cincinnati, pre-show. We haven’t been sleeping for more than two weeks. Bus travel in the winter with a trailer is like trying to sleep on a bucking bronco, so you steal it when you can!

Montreal was one of the best gigs of the tour so far. Something so poetic, romantic, vital, energetic, artistic and total lover vibes about Canadian crowds. They are AWESOME. Here I am, a sweaty mess after the show, with a rose a sweet girl in the front row handed me on my way off the stage. I brought it with me to Boston and I’m looking at it now in my hotel room. Thank you, whoever you are!

Silence and solitude is hard to come by on tour. I love these moments after a gig when I can head outside to some alley or fire escape out the theater doors and just sit for a moment alone, sweaty, adrenalized, exhausted, happy. It’s nice to just think about it all for 10 minutes before going back in and packing up, showering and immediately preparing for the next one.

Montreal, MTELUS theater… in the morning. Empty theaters are spooky and brilliant. It’s fascinating to see them when they are not to be seen, long before the doors are open to the public.

Off side stage at Mtelus in Montreal. This is the last thing you see before you walk on stage to meet the audience.

Day off in Boston. We try and take it easy. We try and eat some food and use actual metal cutlery and sit at a table and eat, with a napkin in our laps and have conversations and wear clean clothes. All day, we walked around Boston, and it was a beautiful day, sunny, cold, busy, traffic weaving demon-like action. I didn’t take any pictures except for this one but I fucking love it.

February 23 - Royale // Boston, MA

February 26 - Webster Hall // New York, NY

February 27 - Webster Hall // New York, NY

February 28 - 9:30 Club // Washington, DC

March 1 - 9:30 Club // Washington, DC

March 2 - The Orange Peel // Asheville, NC

March 4 - Variety Playhouse // Atlanta, GA

March 5 - Brooklyn Bowl // Nashville, TN

March 7 - House of Blues // Houston, TX

March 8 - Stubb’s // Austin, TX

March 9 - House of Blues // Dallas, TX

March 11 - Sunshine Theater // Albuquerque, NM

March 12 - The Van Buren // Phoenix, AZ

March 14 - The Wiltern // Los Angeles, CA

March 15 - Ace of Spades // Sacramento, CA

March 16 - Fox Theater // Oakland, CA

Photography: The Kills