Rilo Kiley rocking the Troc cut short by curfew
Issue date: 6/3/05 Section: Entertainment
I first saw Rilo Kiley live in 2002, in a tiny little bar, opening up for some local band I had never heard of. Each time I saw them was another step up. Each tour brought bigger bars which soon became modestly sized concert venues. And each tour they were opening up for better known headlining bands which later turned into supporting acts as Rilo Kiley gained fans.
In 2001 Rilo Kiley made their Philadelphia debut at The Trocadero, opening up for the reputable Superchunk. Things have come full circle at their second visit to the troc on June 1. The sold out crowd was there to see Rilo Kiley, and this time it was Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan's side band Portastatic as support. It was a sold out show, full of fans that were singing along to every song.
They kicked off the night with It's a Hit. Once a simple four chord song played solely by lead singer Jenny Lewis, the song has turned into a powerful opus from a six-piece band, with backing vocals, two additional guitars (played by lead guitarist Blake Sennett and newest member of the band Mike Bloom), and a blaring trumpet introduction.
About a third of the way through the show, Lewis dedicated a new song, Pull Me in Tighter, to bassist Pierre de Reeder's daughter Sophia. de Reeder brought her up on stage to say hello to the crowd and as the song began she ran off to the side of the stage to watch. A nod to an older more soulful style, the song was a nice taste of the direction Rilo Kiley seems to be headed in. After three verses of honestly confessing lyrics, the music cut out for Sennett, Bloom and de Reeder to provide a beautiful harmony of backing vocals as Lewis' cried out her earnest refrain "I will survive." When the full band picked back up, I looked over to see Sophia dancing and singing along with the chorus.
As they moved through their set, each one of the 16 songs they played had just as much, if not more, energy than the last. From an impromptu dance party at the end of Ripchord (one of Sennett's turns at the mic) to the sing-along fan-favorite With Arms Outstretched, it's obvious that these guys love each other and love what they do.
Media Credit: NIck Lombardo
Due to The Troc's curfew, the evening came to an abrupt end, leaving only enough time for a one song encore. Lewis and Sennett came back on stage for a toned down, duet version of Spectacular views. Sharing the same microphone and keyboard for a good amount of the song, it's obvious that these two are a musical match made in heaven.
Having recently signed to Warner Bros. Records and set to go out with Coldplay when this tour wraps up, the future's looking pretty bright for Rilo Kiley. I'm proud of what this little band has grown into.