Concert Review: Rilo Kiley at Revolution

Categories: Concert Review
rilo18.jpg
Jenny Lewis
Photo by Jamie Puntumkhul

Rilo Kiley
Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale
October 1, 2007

Better than: A three-way between a man, me, and Jim.

The Review:

The last time Rilo Kiley ventured down to South Florida it was roughly two years ago at the I/O Lounge. They performed for about 100 people, one of which kept drunkenly tripping over mic and amp chords that trickled into the sparse audience. Mid-song, vocalist Jenny Lewis had had enough, “Alright, Drunk-o, get the fuck out of here” she snarled as security escorted the lush out. Literally a beat later, she looked down, strummed a chord, and like an ex-child star who's had the term “professionalism” beaten into their skull from a ripe and impressionable age, picked up her lyrics, and went right back into performance-mode.

During the one obvious technical hiccup during Rilo Kiley’s performance Monday night at Revolution, in which the intro to “Under the Blacklight” began to play -- cueing “the professional” (Lewis, not Portman) to dash stage left so she could fiddle with a switchboard that coldly aborted the fetal song – the L.A. indie goddess again displayed the same blend of offbeat charm. The speakers soon gave birth to “Silver Lining” and Lewis threw her arms up and over her head, clapping her hands in a grandiose gesture that requested the audience follow suit. Which they eagerly did as “the hot guitar tech” (who guitarist Blake Sennett called out) threw two large silver balloons into the audience that bopped around until the heat from stage lights caused them to explode, resulting in a gentle shower of silver confetti.

“Silver Lining” wasn’t the only song Rilo Kiley played off of the band’s latest album, Under the Blacklight, which received mixed reviews. “The Moneymaker”, audience fav “Breakin' Up” and my fav “Dreamworld” were also performed to the not-quite-Dropkick-Murphys but I/O-squashing crowd that greeted the opening notes to each new song enthusiastically.

“Do we have any 15 year-olds here tonight?” Sennett asked the audience during a Blacklight-block-o-tunes. Out of the beer toting masses, a pulsating vein (a stolen observation from Sennett) of teeny-boppers lining the stage squealed as the guitarist dedicated the statutory rape themed “15” to “all the fucking 15 year old beauties.”

Backed by a golden curtain that reminded me, for some reason, of the set of the Muppets show, Lewis evoked the spirit of Animal. She often head-banged, swirling her red hair in the air and over her face as she pounded the chords for “I Never.” Rilo Kiley stretched back in time to 2002, playing “With Arms Outstretched” off of Execution of All Things, “Rise Up With Fists!!!“ from Lewis’ solo debut Rabbit Fur Coat, and cranked out half of the wildly popular More Adventurous in which the audience breathed along to “Portions for Foxes.”

Yet, despite the insanely awesome set list, Jenny’s sparkling, silver slippers, and all the fantastic moments that occurred during the show – which included a girl-on-girl fist fight that was oddly induced by the uber-melllow “A Man/Me/Then Jim” – I didn’t realize the power of the band’s charisma until their final song. During the one-song encore of “Does He Love You?” Lewis would occasionally dip her hand into the audience. As soon as her fingers hit the crowd, hands would instantly cling to her wrist, like metal to a magnet, or more literally like fans trying to get a quick feel of something ferocious. -- Elyse Wanshel

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: Before the encore a friend of mine and I kept on yelling for Jenny Lewis to play “Cookie Time” and to do “The Freddy,” but we didn’t scream it too loud – we were also a little afraid that if Lewis actually heard that, there’d be yet another girl-on-girl fight.

Random Detail:Check out the most amazing (and by amazing, I mean utterly cheesy) YouTube of Jenny Lewis EVER (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDLcleGtWN0)

By the way: On NPR’s All Songs Considered Lewis admitted that she wanted to call the band “Love’s Way” after her parents' lounge act in Las Vegas.


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