Selling out a show at the Black Cat is a good sign for an indie rock band. The venue may be relatively small, but it’s harder than one would think to coax all the indie hipsters in D.C. into the same room for one whole night. Rilo Kiley now has that distinction. The band, which released its new album, “More Adventurous,” to critical acclaim in August, sold out the elusive Black Cat last Sunday night.
Rilo Kiley, lead by singer and guitarist Jenny Lewis (who is notable both as a vocalist on the Postal Service’s CD and as a child actress), played a thumping set that actually got some of the hipsters to bop their heads and even a few to move their shoulders (gasp!). And it’s a good thing, too, because most of the fans spent almost an hour waiting in line outside the club to get in. So if Rilo Kiley had sucked, they would have had some angry fans to deal with.
But luckily for both the band and the fans, Rilo Kiley put on a solid show that focused mostly on new material. The highlight was the electric performance of “Potions for Foxes,” the catchiest song off “More Adventurous.” Lewis, who very well may be the reason there were so many guys at the show, brings a kind of quiet energy to the stage that makes her seem confident, yet still shy. During the band’s rendition of “Potions,” though, she was anything but quiet.
After an opening set by Tilly and the Wall (which many missed because they were, well, standing in line), Now, It’s Overhead took the stage. “Boring” could not be a more apt description. This does not necessarily mean that the band was bad; quite the contrary, Now, It’s Overhead played a melodic set featuring songs that are probably very nice to listen to when you are sulking, but not so nice to listen to in a rock club.
As trivial as it seems, a sold-out show at the Black Cat truly is a good sign for an indie band. After all, the Shins sold out two shows there last year and look how popular they’ve become. But it’s not just about selling the tickets, it’s about giving fans their money’s worth. And that’s exactly what Rilo Kiley did.