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Concert Review: Rilo Kiley at The Warfield, 9/6/07

Watching Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley on stage is to see someone completely aware of the spells she can cast on a crowd. A little shrug of the shoulders here, a cock of the eyebrow there, and in no time, the audience for Rilo Kiley's show at The Warfield last week was thoroughly held in thrall by Lewis' charm and blockbuster voice.

But Lewis' sly sexiness wasn't the only thing keeping eyes glued to the stage. Touring in support of Under the Blacklight, the group's first album since 2004, Rilo Kiley trotted out an almost flawless set of old favorites, new standouts, and even a cover tune of sorts. For me, it was one of those strange, rare concert experiences where the band plays virtually every song you'd hope to hear from their catalog and none of the ones you'd pray they skip. To hear more about what made the show a standout,

Under the Blacklight has grown on me in the few weeks since its release, but it's gotten mixed reviews. So I thought it was wise that the group chose to open the show with some better-known, more-beloved songs, including "It's a Hit" and "Portions for Foxes" off 2004's More Adventurous. A high-energy rendition of "Breakin' Up" from Blacklight and Blake Sennett's solo-with-ukulele version of "Ripchord" were some of the other highlights of the early part of the set.

But things really kicked into gear when Lewis rejoined Sennett on stage for a duet of "With Arms Outstretched," which quickly became an emotional crowd sing-along. The band then launched into the upbeat "Wires and Waves," a favorite of mine from debut album Take Offs & Landings, and it was suddenly clear that this was going to be a special night, indeed. "Silver Lining," still my favorite Blacklight song to date, got some help from giant balloon orbs stuffed with glitter and launched into the crowd. (A stunt involving two girls from the audience dancing to "Smoke Detector" was less successful.)

The true standout of the evening, though, was "Spectacular Views," which closed the main set and had the crowd even more rapt than the songs that preceded it. In comparison, the encore was a bit of a disappointment — though it did feature Rilo Kiley covering Lewis' "Rise Up with Fists," from her 2006 solo album Rabbit Fur Coat. But that didn't really matter, though, on a night when I'd already heard everything I could have hoped for.


Join The Conversation
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
sounds great Buzz! the album is good when i am in a certain mood. my roommate doesn't like it though so i listen to it alone on my ipod.
catstarr catstarr 9 years
Oh buzz we should have hung out at the show. :) ;) It was amazing and completely made me fall even more in love with the band and embrace the new album compeltely. And Cadet, Salute My Shorts is a song that Blake sings on Take Offs and Spectacular Views is a song from Execution of All Things. :)
Cadet Cadet 9 years
No Frug? It is most definitely superior to Smoke Detector. I always thought Spectacular Views was called something else. When I played my copy of Take Offs & Landings in iTunes it came up as Salute My Shorts which made me chuckle, because, well... you know.
mallomar mallomar 9 years
Great review of a great show Buzz! Also, I have a question for you- do you have any thoughts on Jonathan Rice's album? I enjoyed his set opening for RK and was wondering if the album is worth picking up.
litebrite litebrite 9 years
Jenny Lewis is great with Rilo Kiley and with the Watson Twins, she most certainly knows how to work a room. I was really excited for the new CD to come out but have to say that its been a bit of a disappointment. There are some good songs, but it just sounds like they didn't know what kind of album they wanted to make. Maybe because the band didn't want it to sound too much like her solo(ish) album, maybe because they just wanted to experiment, but for someone of her/their talent the album is weak.
Seraaalicious Seraaalicious 9 years
Wow! I am so jealous. What a great venue to see them. :)
nikkih nikkih 9 years
I am so jealous--sounds like you had a blast!! Thanks for the info!
juliet juliet 9 years
I'm jiving to see them in Chicago this weekend, but I have to go to a wedding!!! =( I'll just live vicariously through you all...
sumbum sumbum 9 years
Buzz...the concert was at the Warfield! =) I had a great time @ the concert too...Jenny Lewis was fantastic! This was my first RK concert & hopefully not my last!
nurdburd13 nurdburd13 9 years
i LOVE this new album, especially 1 thru 6. I've heard a lot of people say they don't care for it but me, I've got my ear buds in as much as possible singing my heart out to Close Call, Under The Blacklight & Dreamworld. I'm jealous you got to go, Buzz!
Nitachequita Nitachequita 9 years
She'll always be the little Camp Beverly Hills gal to me!
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