Reviews

The Execution of All Things

Author: Katie
04/10/2003 | Somedaynever.com | www.somedaynever.com | Live Show Preview
When I walked into Duffy's bar in Lincoln, I was a mess. I'd gotten lost several times that day, and was cold and tired and alone due to a series of frustrating mishaps. Glad that the show wasn't yet sold out, I halfheartedly listened to the last half of Strawberry Burns' set. They were cool, all dressed in sweater vests, ties, and big thick glasses. I liked them, but was a tad too disgruntled to really enjoy the show.
Then, as Tilly and the Wall hit the tiny, well-lit stage of Duffy's, I realized I wanted -- no, needed my camera. I tried to leave to get it, but the door guy said I'd have to wait in the ever-increasing line. I came back, sat on the stage, and tried to listen despite my camera annoyance. I'd never seen Tilly and the Wall before, a band with quiet keyboards, a quieter acoustic guitar, four singers, and a tap-dancer. I used to think they were a joke band, but seeing that tap dancer get her groove on, hearing their down-home, almost bluegrass vocals changed my mind. They used little kid instruments (bells, maracas, etc.) and it sounded beautiful! The pared down nature of the music sort of reminded me of Mates of State. I loved the set, but was still pretty pissed off.
But the second Rilo Kiley hit the stage, all of my woes just melted into the floor. They kicked off their set with "Paint's Peeling," my favorite song from their most recent album. Rilo Kiley often gets knocked for the girly-girl vocals of Jenny Lewis, but goddamn, when she starts screaming "Hey-ey-ey...," you know she's a real woman with a big voice. They absolutely nailed one of my all-time favorites, "The Pictures of Success." Somehow, whenever I see them live, Rilo Kiley shakes off all the innocence and silliness from their albums, and they just fucking rock.
That night, though, they were the best I'd ever seen them. The night before, I saw Rilo Kiley, The Good Life, and Mayday at Sokol Underground. It was a great show. But at Duffy's, I felt like I was at home with some friends. The sound was perfect, and the whole night was a round of hugs for all. This was the last show on the Good Life tour, and the girls from Tilly and the Wall hugged Jenny tight when "With Arms Outstretched" began. Everyone clapped and cried, audience included. Even more than the Omaha show, the song felt like a bittersweet goodbye. It was like I was eavesdropping at the last day of camp, maybe even Camp Anawana. Blake even started a chant for Mike Mogis.
There was no encore, because the band couldn't bear to leave the stage. Jenny sang a protest song, and even though she sounded upbeat, the song just felt heavy and true -- her girlish twang never more cynical. Anyway, they kept playing their extra songs without stopping, knowing full well that the audience loved them both. If you're in a solid relationship with someone, don't take them to a Rilo Kiley show -- you'll both want to be in a room with Blake and Jenny at the end of the night.
Blake summed it up best when he thanked Duffy's for paying him to have a party. It was a party, and I danced my ass off (it's rare when I do so sincerely). I forgot I wanted my camera -- it would have gotten in the way of my foot stomping and hip-shaking. I felt every Rilo Kiley chord, curled up in every lazy whisper from Jenny, every unexpectedly gorgeous Blake ballad, and had an awesome time. I wish I could keep them around for every time I get stressed out!