Kix 'Live in Baltimore'

Date:Friday, September 28, 2012

Review By: Kris Engelhart

The 1980's rock scene seemed to have exploded out of nowhere bringing us a plethora of new bands. Big hair, big sounds, and even bigger attitudes were the norm and nobody did it better than the Hagerstown, Maryland hard rockers of Kix. By the mid-nineties, the tide had quickly turned with the advent of grunge. Denim and plaid replaced the spandex and sparkle and many of the best bands of the eighties, like Kix, had disappeared into the shadows. Much to my delight, there has been a renewed interest in the genre in recent years and a resurgence of eighties rock is in full swing.

Kix is one of the few bands from that time period that I have not seen live so I was eager to give their new release, "Live In Baltimore," a listen. The album features a performance at The Rams Head in Baltimore in front of a very appreciative hometown audience. The first thing to notice is the lack of slick production and overdubbing. The record is raw, barroom rock and roll the way it was meant to be heard. Both the band and vocalist Steve Whiteman are spot on and sound as great as they did thirty years ago. They open with "No Ring Around Rosie" and quickly fire through their hits including an audience sing-along during "Cold Blood," the power ballad "Don't Close Your Eyes," and of course "Blow My Fuse." There is some great interaction with the crowd as Whiteman has quite the repartee with the audience. Their encore features the tongue in cheek "Kix Are For Kids" and an extended version of "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" with a lot of ad-lib storytelling by Whiteman.

"Live In Baltimore" is well done, capturing the energy of their performance and leaving us anxiously awaiting their return. With the promise of new Kix music in 2013, I am hoping the wait will not be long at all.

Stay tuned for an interview with vocalist Steve Whiteman.

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