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Kittie
January 16, 2002
The Engine Room - Houston, TX

Samuel Barker
Senior Editor
Morgan Lander and Talena Atfield of Kittie (picture by Samuel Barker)

When all the hype settles, the rock begins. That is lesson one can learn from seeing Kittieís latest performances. No longer is Kittie viewed as a novelty act in the metal scene, no longer are they seen as 3 (formerly 4) teenaged girls full of angst, Kittie has evolved into something beyond that, and just a glimpse into one of their live shows will illustrate that.

A sold out crowd was packed into the Engine Room to catch a glimpse of Kittieís new material and old favorites up close. The audience, fortunately, contained a large number of young girls looking for something beyond the pop music they are force-fed by the radio.

In the past, Kittie shows were full of the neanderthal metal heads that flocked to all the concerts, but now the women had come to find their niche and see their role models, 3 young women that make you forget theyíre women as soon as the music starts. They transform into musicians emotionally wrapped in their art.

The set opened with a shortened version of Pink Lemonade. It was nowhere near the nine minutes plus it covers on album. The shortened style of the song worked just fine as it went directly into Oracle. Morganís vocals ripped at the audience, Morgan Landerís voice has reached a new level since Spit. Itís reached a new menacing low. This is amazing when you take into account the width of her previous vocal range. Morgan Lander is a singer in the truest since of the word, but then she hits these mind-shattering growls that make one almost want to run for the door. Itís variations like that, which make people lose themselves in a set.

The set was heavy with songs from Oracle, but added in a reasonable amount of tracks from Spit. The songs from Spit were a treat, as the band seemed to push them up to the level at which the songs from Oracle reached. What Iíve Always Wanted captured Morganís vocal range in a pained, yet angelic moment. The impressive part of her singing is the movement from melodic song to pained roar within the same breath.

Mercedes Lander and Talena Atfield kept the rhythm tight. Mercedes has flourished into one of the more solid metal drummers of the day. The double kick was tight and the beat never strayed. Atfield played to the crowd for most of the set. She was the embodiment of what a bass player should be, playful, energetic, yet menacing. Her expression never left a scowl except for a few light moments between songs, even then, the smirk on her face seemed devious.

Kittie came to play and did just that. There were few songs left unplayed in their entire songbook, and even fewer people who had the energy to make it though the rest. Kittie poured their heart and energy out on the stage, and the audience did the same for them. It was a symbiotic relationship that benefited all, and left no one with any complaints.

Set List: Pink Lemonade, Oracle, Spit, Raven, What I've Always Wanted, Do you think I'm a Whore, Wolves, Suck, Paper Doll, Mouthful of Poison, In Winter, Charlotte, Run Like Hell, Pain. Encore: Brackish, No Name

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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