Rilo Kiley @ All Star Lanes, 08/13/07
Last night marked the first time in nearly two years that Rilo Kiley has perfomed live. Between Jenny Lewis' and Blake Sennett's side projects and recording their hotly anticipated forthcoming album Under the Blacklight, it's clear they simply haven't had the time. Despite the occasional, somewhat expected blunders, Rilo Kiley rocked a set consisting of half old and half new material.
Eagle Rock's own All Star Lanes hosted their first show ever as a part of the ongoing Myspace Secret Shows series. Scores of devotees waited in interminable lines to experience the once in a lifetime event. The bowling alley was transformed into Rilo Kiley land with score monitors flashing band snapshots.
The moneymaker outfit-clad RIlo Kiley hit the stage triumphantly, opening with "Portions For Foxes". The crowd reacted with a certain euphoria I could only attribute to a two-year void. They dipped into the distorted, embittered "Paint's Peeling" with Jenny Lewis' painstaking belting: "How could you love me this way?!"
Next, they played the resoundingly popular "It's A Hit," which promptly provoked a massive crowd sing-along. Girls to the left and right of me were shimmying down as Jenny shimmied onstage. The four-piece band was temporarily augmented to six for horns and auxiliary percussion. Their older songs were performed with great finesse, as though they'd been bottled up inside for years.
Rilo Kiley proceeded to dole out a taste of their forthcoming album Under the Blacklight. The first glimpse, presumably Blake written, was "Dream World". They started to play the song in the wrong key, but quickly realized the mistake, recovering with: "We're experimenting with different tunings. We haven't played for a while. So, there's bound to be a few mistakes." The Blake-ian song sounded like a laid-back Fleetwood Mac, circa the Stevie Nicks days. The second glimpse was a minimal, bass-driven "Moneymaker". The song's loose yet fiery construction reminded me a lot of Grand Ole Party.
Every single set of lips mouthed the words to "The Execution of All Things" while Rilo Kiley executed their unanimous hit. You can imagine that much more shimmying transpired. As Jenny prefaced the next song ("We're a little rusty, but whatever. Fuck it!"), Rilo Kiley failed to start up "Wires And Waves". Although, the crowd was too engrossed in the possibility of hearing more tunes off Take Offs and Landings to care.
They proceeded to preview another block of tunes from the heavily anticipated Under the Blacklight, showcasing "Silver Lining," the Donna Summers-ish, cowbell infused "Breakin' Up," and the Spanish lyric backed "Dejalo". All of the songs seemed extremely well-rehearsed considering the circumstances.
As the set drew to an end, Jenny wooed the masses with the final track off of The Execution of All Things, "Spectacular Views," screaming: "It's so fucking beautiful". The words embodied the experience in it's entirety. Their encore included a seamless rendition of "Does He Love You?", one of my favorite songs off of More Adventurous. I couldn't have asked for a better set list.
Overall, the experience served as an ongoing reminder of Rilo Kiley's illustrious career. Jenny was utterly riveting and amidst the moments of nostalgic bliss I realized that no one cared how rusty they were. They're back and frankly, we were all grateful to be among the first witness the revival.
photos by Joshua Pressman for LAist