NEW YORK, NY—To celebrate their recent release, I’ve Failed You, Kittie took over Highline Ballroom in New York City with a few fellow metal bands to help start things off right. Even walking in early on in the night, the room was already full and fans were rocking out to each of the openers, apparently not conserving energy for the night’s headliner. I may not have been the most knowledgeable of Kittie’s music and history from their roughly 15-year career, but it didn’t stop me from completely falling for the sounds of mayhem that would ensue.
When I had arrived, Alekhine’s Gun were just finishing their last song. As they are a female-fronted band, I was excited that possibly the night would be composed mainly of female musicians, especially singers equipped with voices that can tear through you in a second. I should have known better; just because Kittie is an all-girl band, they didn’t only bring along other bands with chicks in them. After taking a seat at the side bar, I was ready for Diamond Plate to follow.
Recalling early thrash bands, Diamond Plate came out with a riff of an old school metal song before transitioning into their own material and letting their wild, long hair whip around with the other headbangers in the crowd. They too must have been in the same mind frame as Kittie, having just released their album, Generation Why?, a few weeks prior. I was impressed with the energy from their set and heavy drums and bass. There was even this creepy, vampire-like vibe that popped up in some of their music.
Next was Dirge Within, whom I have heard of through various tours, but never gave them a listen. I really enjoyed their set, which of course was heavy, but it also had touches of melodic hooks. Their vocalist has a strong voice that reminded me a bit of Phil Labonte, the singer for All That Remains. They ended on “Forever The Martyr,” and before they left the stage, they told fans they were giving them one last breakdown to go nuts. Off they went.
Kittie took the stage to a very warm welcome. Instead of standing around, thanking fans endlessly and promoting the new album over and over, Kittie got right into the music and carried on with few breaks and no time for fans to stop moving about. They mixed older tracks in with those from the new album, and singer Morgan Lander stopped at one point to reflect on how they love revisiting material from 2007, playing the title track and “Never Again” off of Funeral For Yesterday.
While Lander stood her ground and let her vocals and guitar work do the running around for her, bassist Ivy Jenkins worked the stage, moving around, interacting with both her band mates and fans. The night balanced out with a respect in the air from both the fans and band.