First of all, I would like to say: Rilo Kiley, you are forgiven. For hanging up, for anything and everything you have ever done wrong, in fact: you are forgiven for most of your future sins too-because that show you put on Wednesday was what (pop) shows should be like.
But more on that in a moment, as first of all I would like to mention that since I have not had this much fun watching all three bands on a bill since that PB&J, Fujiya & Miyagi, Au Revoir Simone show we need to give a little thumbs up to the opening bands (both of which later joined in the main show reverie):
Art in Manila
For the uninitiated, Art in Manila is Orenda Fink’s post-Azure Ray project. They just released a pretty wonderful “Set the Woods on Fire” LP on Saddle Creek and are now part of the Rilo Kiley traveling troupe. While on record (which I have been listening to on repeat for a few weeks now) Orenda sounds as beautiful as she ever did it is only live that the fact that the woman now has a PROPER ROCK BAND AROUND HER comes to life. The guitars scratch and scrub and soar, the bass is booming and the leading lady finally gets to rock out. It is still out to break your heart. So, guard it with your life.
Set the Woods on Fire MP3 here
All I am going to say about Grand Ole Party is that they are your (and our) new favorite band. I never heard of the San Diego trio before Wednesday but I have not stopped talking about them since (texting about bands from shows being my equivalent of drunk dialing-I apologize to all of you that got disrupted in your slumber by me URGING YOU to wake up and look them up).
Anyhoo, the concept is highly simple yet effective:
Mike is on bass, John Paul is on guitar and Kristin is on drums and she sings. (which, if you’ve ever seen 1990s live, you know how amazing a singing drummer can be). It is all fast and furious and driven to a glorious pulp of madness and catchiness. Humanimals, their debut album is out on Itunes now I think, and you DEFINITELY need it.
and then after all that it was
I read about people complaining about the show being “too produced”, “too dependent on style” etc etc… well, bullshit. (pardon my French)
It is nice to see a show that is a SHOW. That is not just someone standing and singing.
That involves thought and caring and wearing glow-in-the-dark-tights, kids.
And it was awesome.
Rilo Kiley had a big gold curtain behind them, all vintage gear, an amazingly designed light show and some confetti in a silver balloon which after Jason busted one open I was ready to call him back and ask ONLY nice questions, because it made me feel that fuzzy inside.
And they all looked sharp, and sounded sharper.
(which is good, because style over substance will only get you so far, you know).
Rilo Kiley is obviously a band of entertainers (/ ex-child stars) and you shouldn’t hold it against them.
You should embrace it.
They played a perfectly paced mix of songs from both old records and the new album (+ a “cover” from Jenny’s solo record) and from the cowbell in
“Breaking up” (one of the only 2 songs cowritten by Blake and Jenny on the new album, in a decided switch from previous, more equally shared duties) to that “could be a disaster but I am loving it” “Ripchord” moment of Blake and Pierre solo on the stage (’cause nobody loves you) to “15” which had Jenny at her most sassadelic (and she was pretty sassy throughout) to the amazing thumping of the “Moneymaker” it is nice to see a band have enough repertoire to fill out a show with all good stuff, all the time. We sang along to everything, the audience definitely participated (for a change) and I will see them every time they are in town. Because I know it will make me happy. Even if for just one night.
Which, say what you will, is what music should be all about.
(all photos by Joel and check out NPR’s podcast here)
For additional shits and kicks: read our Rilo Kiley interview here