If you weren’t at the Rickshaw Stop Tuesday night, you missed the dance party. LA duo Kisses came out and made a boring weeknight feel like a Friday on the town. When they were done I wanted to shirk all my responsibilities, move to Fiji and drink cocktails forever.
But first, openers Altars took the stage to play its breed of dance/electro to a half-filled room. The band were so good it was a shame more people weren’t there to listen. The local trio powered through a 30-minute set, and lead singer Melanie Ann Berlin told us that programmer/percussionist Bernie P was suffering through sickness to be at the show. I’m sure no one could tell. Every note and beat was spot on and Berlin kept telling the audience how nice we were for clapping and cheering between songs. As a moodier, female-fronted version of the headliners, Altars were the perfect openers for Kisses. Check them out around town if you get a chance.
During Altars’ set I started thinking that as much as I love a good guitar pop song, I think it’s time for this disco/dance throwback music to become the next newfangled genre. Both Altars and Kisses can give the chillwave kids a run for their money.
Lead singer/guitarist Jesse Kivel took the stage and announced, “We’re Kisses and we’re from Los Angeles. Are you ready to have a dancin’ good time?” And a dancin’ good time it was. Kivel and keyboardist/singer (and girlfriend!) Zinzi Edmundson were backed by both a live drummer and the recorded tracks from debut The Heart of the Nightlife — which, if I’d known about it earlier, would’ve made my top 5 albums of 2010. It’s song after song of perfect 70s-influenced disco pop, unsurprising as Kivel has also written some great indie pop tunes as part of LA act Princeton.
A couple songs that sound a little mellower on record — namely, “On The Move” and the album’s title track — were much more lively and held their own next to more energetic tunes like “People Can Do the Most Amazing Things” and “Bermuda,” the latter of which is just begging to be spun in every European club. The band played every song from the album, ignoring the heckles and saving hit “Midnight Lover” for last. Then Kivel signed off by saying this was one of his favorite shows ever.
Ours too, Jesse. Ours too.