Rilo Kiley / June 2, 2008 / New York (Terminal 5)
In a night filled with handclaps and singalongs, Rilo Kiley's first of two gigs at New York's Terminal 5 had the perfect amount of glitter, glamour and sleaze to parallel the band's 2007 release "UndeIn a night filled with handclaps and singalongs, Rilo Kiley's first of two gigs at New York's Terminal 5 had the perfect amount of glitter, glamour and sleaze to parallel the band's 2007 release "Under the Blacklight" (Warner Bros.), and enough sweetness and heartbreak to match its back catalogue.
Jenny Lewis and Co. started with "Close Call," "The Moneymaker" and "Dreamworld," all from "Blacklight," an album written about Los Angeles' sketchy side. On the record, the band tells the tales of characters starving for fame and fortune and, in a way, the group's live performance illustrates the goals the characters were trying to achieve.
Everyone was glammed up -- singer/bassist Lewis wore a colorful romper with shiny tights and black cowboy boots and guitarist Blake Sennett donned a yellow/gold button-down shirt with a silver vest, while drummer Jason Boesel and bassist/guitarist/keyboardist Pierre de Reeder both wore white button-down shirts. Their classy attire combined with Lewis' high energy and quirky/sexy stage presence made the show easy on the eyes -- although the music alone would have left the crowd more than satisfied.
Lewis and de Reeder took turns on bass, guitar and keyboards throughout the set. Lewis effortlessly slid her hands down across the keys in "Hail to Whatever You Found in the Sunlight That Surrounds You" and plucked the punchy bass line of "The Moneymaker." De Reeder, who dueled with Sennett on the finger-picked guitar riffs in "The Absence of God," was a man of few words but still amused the crowd by running onstage on a couple of occasions with a point-and-shoot digital camera to snap shots of the crowd.
Being a huge proponent of crowd participation, Sennett encouraged fans to dance to the disco-gospel track "Breakin' Up," which ended with everyone's arms in the air, affirming that "Ooh, it feels good to be free!" Then in "With Arms Outstretched" from 2002's "The Execution of All Things" (Saddle Creek), Lewis tapped on her microphone to keep the beat while the crowd sang the chorus a cappella.
Near the end of the pre-encore set, "Silver Lining" was accompanied by enormous confetti-filled silver balloons and Terminal 5's disco ball spinning overhead. Fans volleyed the balloons across the venue and erupted in joyous cheers whenever one popped and showered them with silver and gold as Lewis crooned "Hooray, hooray, I'm your silver lining… but now I'm gold."
Fans loyally sang along to every song as if Lewis' words were their own, whether it was "I Never" -- which served as a sort of anthem for the predominately female audience -- or the horn-driven "15," which Sennett introduced as "a love story between a man and a woman." Fans joyously swayed their arms in the air, singing, "She was bruised like a cherry, ripe as a peach/How could he have known that she was only 15?" Has a creepy guy's relationship with a 15-year-old girl ever sounded so sweet? Only when Jenny Lewis is telling the story.
Here is Rilo Kiley's setlist:
"Does He Love You?"
"Absence of God"
"With Arms Outstretched"
"Hail to Whatever You Found in the Sunlight That Surrounds You"
"It's A Hit"
"A Better Son/Daughter"
"Portions for Foxes" / "Spectacular Views"