Monday, November 26, 2007I was your silver lining, but now I'm gold
I've been to see Rilo Kiley on two occasions this year, once in August and once last week. The show in August was at Islington Academy, a relatively intimate venue. Having only heard Moneymaker from their latest album, Under the Blacklight, I was blown away by their new material. The moment the beat of Breakin' Up started was a definitive moment in my relationship with Rilo Kiley. Their progression from country pop to country-disco-pop was clear. Actually, I'd say their transition was rather to 'the best pop band in the whole world'. I bought the album the next day and was swept away by Jenny Lewis' even dreamier warm vocals, their glistening lyrics (really...), perfectly timed chord changes and west coast horizontalness.
When tickets for their gig at Shepherd's Bush Empire came on sale, I hesitated, wary that too many gigs mixeth not with a full time job. Puting the album on again I quickly changed my mind and bought a ticket. The leaves fell, the wind picked up, it rained, my roof leaked and soon enough it was 19th November.
Three months down the line, Under the Blacklight has failed to sell a huge amount of albums or gain much airplay since the initial critical acclaim it attracted. The gig was nice and full and Shepherd's Bush is a beautiful big venue, with four levels, ornate decor and a big stage. With a glittering gold backdrop, everything was in place for Rilo Kiley to play their landmark UK date. And it was just that. The whole band was astounded by the screams and cheers as they took to the stage, climaxing when the opening guitar of 'It's a Hit' were played. It makes a nice change seeing American bands, the smaller ones tend to be very happy to be playing here and not totally sick of playing the same cities five times a year. Rilo Kiley have never done a vast amount of promo or shows here and I imagine an enthusiastic 2,000 strong crowd must be something of a surprise.
It's so reassuring to watch bands who clearly love playing live, and being in a band together, as much as Rilo Kiley do. Their smiles, interactions, playing guitars body2body make their already convincing pop music all the more convincing. Too often are bands insencere, tired, jaded, uninspired and delivering dull and directionless second albums. On album number four Rilo Kiley keep diversifying, developing and getting it right. If you haven't listened to anything yet, hope over to their myspace and listen to Silver Lining. It's perfect.
Rilo Kiley performs so good live! did anyone see them at the mtvU woodies? they were the best act there! If you didn't get a chance to see it, check it out here::