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All eyes on Jenny Lewis

Rilo Kiley
Pabst Theatre
Milwaukee, WI
May 23, 2008
Rilo Kiley Rilo Kiley Rilo Kiley

Story and Photos by Matt Schwenke

In what began as a somewhat terse, formulaic performance, L.A.-based Rilo Kiley managed to warm up quickly by the end of a brief set and satisfy a sold-out crowd that had waited through two lengthy opening acts. Touring in support of Under the Blacklight, the group's fourth full-length release, Jenny Lewis' satiny voice is still the centerpiece of their sound and the focal point of their performance, but through a bit of showmanship and some delectable guitar work, guitarist/singer Blake Sennett managed to take the spotlight off of Lewis for a number of tunes, and through a variety of arrangements, Lewis rotated through instruments amongst her fellow bandmates.

But the sparkly short-shorts clad singer was certainly what the crowd wanted, and Lewis delivered in the airy "Dreamworld" and the folky "With Arms Outstretched"-- at times bouncing around and at others even laying down on stage. In an odd intro, Lewis asked if their were any 15-year-olds in the audience, to which a few cheers were roused, and then explained, "I'm sorry, but this song's for you" before delving into the precariously playful "15." In a much more contemplative mood, the lucid, easy-going moldings of "Silver Lining" was augmented with large, silver, confetti-filled balloons tossed out into the crowd. With the last balloon popped, the band ended their set with some of their most straightforward rock in "I Never" and to end their encore in "Portions For Foxes."

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Rilo Kiley Rilo Kiley
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