Monday, June 23, 2008
Rilo Kiley at the Greek Theatre
It was a picturesque night for a rock show at the Greek Theatre as Rilo Kiley played to a warm home crowd. I haven't seen Rilo Kiley live since I saw them open for Coldplay in Las Vegas a few years ago. Jenny Lewis (Vocals/Guitars/Bass) had the crowd in the palm of her hand by the end of the night with her honey soaked vocals.
A slick blues guitar riff did not properly prepare me for Benji Hughes. Benji's guitarist was wailing away on his Fender Telecaster with a Fulltone Tube Tape Echo fluttering away before Benji hit the stage. The mood changed considerably when Benji unveiled his lounge singing style replete with tongue in cheek lyrics. Benji did his best impression of a crooning Morrissey with "All You Gotta Do Is Fall In Love". Some of Benji's song titles include "Tight Tee Shirt", "Waiting For An Invitation" and "You Stood Me Up" to give you a better idea of where he is coming from. Benji really needs to be seen live in order to gain a better understanding of his songs. A Little Extreme is Benji's five song EP that you can download from itunes.
What is so funny about peace, love and understanding? Nothing according to Becky Stark (Vocals) from Lavender Diamond. Becky usually greets audiences asking for world peace and general good natured comments about preserving the environment. In the song department, Lavender Diamond is a folk leaning quiet outfit led by the wide ranging operatic vocals from Becky. Imagine Our Love is their latest release on Matador records. In one of the many diatribes by Becky throughout the night, she mentioned she met Jenny Lewis the third day she moved to Los Angeles. It pays to make friends in this city.
The subtle country twang of "Close Call" kicked off the evening in high spirits as Jenny Lewis and company took to the stage. Jenny was channeling her twang through a weathered Fender Telecaster Deluxe as Blake Sennett (Guitars/Vocals) was complimenting her sound with a Fender Telecaster. A sultry bass line and retro flavored funky guitar riff tipped off the audience as Rilo Kiley shaked out "The Moneymaker". Vocal harmonies came out in full force as "Dreamworld" sounded flawless. The Greek Theatre when mixed correctly is probably one of the best sounding venues in Los Angeles. This night was no exception as the combination of dialed in sound with perfect weather made a stunning hometown welcoming for Rilo Kiley as they closed out their tour in support of Under The Blacklight.
Blake did a knock out version of "Ripchord" that sounded full on his electric guitar. I was impressed by Blake's guitar playing throughout the night in that in he was filling all the right spaces in the songs. Jenny wandered across the front of the stage during "The Absence of God" with the spotlight quickly following her every move as were most of the males in the audience. "It's A Hit" was performed with a sense of vigor and urgency. "Silver Lining" was highlighted by a large number of inflatable balloons tossed out into the crowd with silver confetti stored inside. Jason Boesel (Drums) got involved in the action as he popped one of the balloons to the crowd's delight. "Portions For Foxes" closed out the night with jangly guitars surrounding Jenny's wispy vocals. It is hard to believe that this would be their last show in awhile, but I wouldn't mind hearing the new Postal Service album.
Rilo Kiley setlist for the Greek Theatre (6/18/08)
"Does He Love You?"
"The 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"
"Pictures of Success"
"Portions for Foxes/and parts of Spectacular Views"