[Photos by Aaron Richter]
By Andrew Parks
As much as the entire self-titled staff enjoyed The Kills‘ headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg set last night–ever-present backing track, and all–half of us left at the start of the encore. The idea being a quick escape, before the band’s down & dirty night anthems (“Sour Cherry,” “Getting Down,” “Hook and Line”) drove us to endless rounds of chilled whiskey.
What we didn’t expect was the following slightly disturbing text message from s/t‘s associate editor…
“Whoa! That dude got knocked on top of me!”
“[Guitarist/singer] Jamie [Hince] just punched a dude in the face!!!!”
Aaron later explained, via E-mail:
So it’s the second to last song and Jamie starts motioning to someone in the crowd. He’s playing right above me and jerking his guitar downward near my face and pointing down to where I’m standing. I look back and see someone in the crowd who he seems to be looking at–a tall guy with a buzzed haircut, who looks drunk and is holding up two fingers at Jamie…like how British people give the finger. The guy makes his way up front and stands right next to me. Jamie is jabbing him in the face with his guitar head, not hard, just like little pokes. At the time it seemed playful enough. I could have swore Jamie was laughing about it or at least giving us a devilish grin. Keep in mind this is all while the song is still going.
The guy keeps giving Jamie the fingers, now with both hands. Jamie starts yelling, “Come on up here!” At this point, I’m confused but under the impression that they’re totally buddies having a laugh, and Jamie aggressively grabs the dude by his shoulders to pull him onstage. I grab the guy’s legs to help out, assuming it’s all fun and games. But everything got weird as soon as he got on the stage. First he looked like he was going to pass out–sorta just barely there. The song ends. Alison [Mosshart, also of The Dead Weather] starts saying, “Who is this guy?” And the dude gets up and spreads his arms to walk over toward Alison. She freaks and scurries away. The stage crew tries to grab the guy, but Jamie gets him first and throws him up against the speaker stack.
It all happened so fast, so I’m not 100-percent sure Jamie actually threw a punch or if he just pushed him. But I remember the guy getting knocked the fuck out and hurtled off the stage by Jamie–basically tossed over my shoulder. Dude was crumpled in a heap on the floor, and I thought he was dead for a brief second. Security came to escort the guy out, and Jamie and Alison launched into an insane cover of Captain Beefheart’s “Dropout Boogie.” My hands were shaking. How I didn’t manage to get any photos of it, I have no idea. But that’s some real rock ‘n’ roll shit. I’m sure Jamie’s in jail right now. I mean, how can he not be?
As far as we know, Jamie is not in jail at the moment, although we hear the Kills camp is worried about a potential assault & battery charge. The guy–a French fan, we’ve been told–he haymakered had apparently been heckling him all night, and is probably regretting it right now. Maybe he was simply “sick of boombox bands,” like the cranky hulk of a man we ran into on the way out–a dude who simply wouldn’t drop the fact that the Kills play with pre-programmed beats rather than a drummer. Whatever the case, let that be a lesson that you should never leave a show early.
Now, for some more photos and three full live clips…