In The Flesh 

Bloc Party with the Kills
Royal Oak Music Theatre
Tuesday, Sept. 13

Like the split-second instant before a head-on car collision, the Kills were eerily clear. Lead singer VV shook and shaked like PJ Harvey, while guitarist Hotel sported a guitar tone sharp as a broken Bud bottle. By slamming their latest single (“Your Love is a Deserter”) into the forgotten Jonathan Fire*Eater song (“The Search for Cherry Red”), the band showed more effort and more soul in five minutes than Bloc Party could muster in its entire set.

In fact, Bloc Party was as soulless as a polka band at the Apollo. The show seemed uninspired and perfunctory, as if they couldn’t wait to punch out their time cards. Half-bit Echo and the Bunnymen at best. But the kids in the crowd lapped it up, hanging on lead singer Kele Okereke’s every last unintelligible between-song mumble and gazing longingly at the band’s decidedly static stage movements. The light show was kind of cool, though.

When BP returned for an encore, Okereke explained that his voice had gone out, and he apologized for cutting the set short. Cut short? It was assumed that he was sparing us from further torture. Here’s hoping his voice doesn’t come back anytime soon. —Ben Blackwell

Ben Blackwell writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

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