Rilo Kiley Live at the Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL - Portions for Foxes, Rise Up With Fists (video), also Grand Ole Party and Johnathan Rice
- Rilo Kiley played a fantastic set at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago last night.
First things first. The opening band Grand Ole Party was pretty darn good. Pardon my ignorance; I hadn't heard of them before. They have an uncanny similarity to one of my favorite bands, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and that's not a bad thing. Her big voice, which has a touch of Beth Gibbons XL flavor, belies her tiny frame. Check out their songs "Look Out Young Son" and "Belle Isle".
Grand Ole Party - Look Out Young Son (MP3)
Grand Ole Party - Belle Isle (MP3)
Grand Ole Party - Bad Bad Man (video)
Johnathan Rice (Jenny "Cradle-Robber" Lewis' boyfriend, 7 years her junior; yeah, I'm jealous) came on next and performed quite a few tunes from his new album 'Further North'. Highlights included "We're All Stuck Out in the Desert" and of course "End of the Affair" featuring a guest vocal from Jenny Lewis (which made the place go apesh*t).
Johnathan Rice (hype machine)
Jenny Lewis graced us with her presence in a gaudy sequined outfit that would have put Prince or Michael Jackson to shame in their heyday. The important thing was that her voice outshone the unnecessary glitter. The burning question for me, however, was how the new album material would fare in a live setting. As you may know, 'Under the Blacklight' is quite a polarizing album for critics and fans alike (see my review below). However, the live renditions of the songs off 'Under the Blacklight' thankfully shed the artifice of the studio sheen for the energy and edginess that endears the band to fans.
I believe this was the set list. I might have the order mixed up (maybe I'm getting senile; at least I felt that way with all the 18-somethings in the place). Let me know if there are any mistakes or omissions.
It's A Hit (A rousing start to the set.)
Portions For Foxes (Definitely got the place going.)
Rilo Kiley - Portions for Foxes (live at the Riviera Theatre)
The Moneymaker (*Cringe*, just as bad live as on the album.)
Wires And Waves
Ripchord (Featuring Blake on the Uke!)
With Arms Outstretched (Everyone was singing along; a real nice moment)
Silver Lining (There was a false intro to the title track "Under the Blacklight" before they transitioned song. There also bounced aroundlarge balloons filled with silver confetti.)
Rise Up With Fists! (Jenny Lewis 'cover')
Rilo Kiley - Rise Up With Fists (live at the Riviera Theatre)
Greetings In Braille (The Elected 'cover', featuring Jenny Lewis on the melodica!)
Give A Little Love
Does He Love You?
My review of Under the Blacklight:
I was quite rattled by Rilo Kiley's squeaky clean production quality, afraid that it would dilute and attenuate the rough indie edge that I had enjoyed on prior albums. The album tries to achieve a daring blend of indie rock, 80s pop, folk, and country. The results are mixed. While I love this band to death, it was hard for me to let them off the hook here. This is probably my least favorite Rilo Kiley album. The songwriting has generally gotten a bit better, with the glaring exceptions of "The Moneymaker" and "Smoke Detector". "Dejalo" sounds like it belongs on a Gloria Estefan album. "Dreamworld" isn't a bad song but it plays like an homage or rip-off of Fleetwood Mac. As usual, the highlights on the album are songs that effectively showcase Jenny Lewis' vocals (i.e. "Silver Lining" and "Under the Blacklight"). "Give a Little Love" is a charming little ditty reminiscent of playful early era Rilo Kiley (circa "The Initial Friend" EP).