red lights


Rilo Kiley fans the flames

Rilo Kiley / Now It's Overhead / Tilly and the Wall
Abbey Pub
Chicago, IL
Sept. 30, 2004
Tilly and the Wall
Tilly and the Wall
Now It's Overhead
Now It's Overhead
Rilo Kiley
Rilo Kiley

Story and photos by Karen Bondowski

On a peaceful Thursday evening in Chicago, The Abbey was starting to get a mad rush of fans, eagerly awaitng to get as close as possible to the stage. Tilly and the Wall opened the night with a bang. Coming out of Omaha, Nebraska, they are friends and have also toured with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. Some have been in bands with him in his early musical stages while others have helped him out on the road while touring. With three beautiful and amazingly talented girls - the band set a path for the bold to follow. And yes, even one of them tap dances. Now It's Overhead Her name is Jaime. Instead of having a drummer, she keeps everyone on beat by her rythmic steps. Amazingly primitive...yet complex at the same time. Even while tapping to their hit song, "Reckless" she'll quietly sing to herself as Neely and Kianna sing with a fevered passion. The girls are able to help put you at ease with their quiet confidence, brash and alive the music flows overhead gradually... only to be consumed greedily by the receptive minds in the audience. Derek gently strums along on his guitar adding his own mysterious parts while Nick gently taps his foot to the music and strikes the keys gingerly on his keyboard. Other songs peformed were: "Fell Down the Stairs." "A Perfect Fit," "Ice Storm Big Gust and You." They finished their set with a rousing version of "Nights of the Living Dead." And Jamie, as she tapped the last beat let it be known they had left their trademark forever embedded on the Abbey's young stage.
Rilo Kiley Now it's Overhead quietly took their place on stage to settle in. Andy LeMaster from Georgia, who has also worked with Conor Oberst, let the melodies ring loud and true. The soft country-flavored melodies flowered as LeMaster's personal vocals bled brightly. Alt-country has a new adopted child. It would have worked better, though had Now It's Overhead opened the show rather than Tilly and the Wall as Now's sound is a stepping stone rather than a building block to tonights vibe.
Rilo Kiley, recently switching labels from Omaha's Saddle Creek Records to Brute/Beaute Records, hosted an inventive and spirited set at the Abbey Pub last Thursday. Fronted by, Jenny Lewis, sporting tight jeans and a tank-top, she led the foray into a sound that is truly all their own. Lewis' voice warbles in and out of octaves rivaling the Greek sirens. Her tonailty is truly rich. She perfectly varies her hypnotic voice with little effort, digging into folk-style harmony while continually focusing inward.
They charged into "My Slumbering Heart" with its piercing melodies melting slowly as the chorus fades. "The Good that Won't Come Out" hits you like a missle that takes off in a different direction with no landing in sight. Sub-pop never had it so good as the band lit into "Spectacular Views" with its piercing melodies dying slowly as the chorus begged for resurrection.
Other gems were "The Good That Won't Come Out," "The Execution of All Things," "Capturing Moods," "Portions for Foxes," "I Never" and "Such Great Heights" by the Postal Service.
Rilo Kiley screams "indie" individualism and let's hope that success won't spoil them from tempting to raise the bar even further.

Tilly and the Wall
Tilly and the Wall
Rilo Kiley
Rilo Kiley

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