05 July 2008


Shane and I saw Tilly and the Wall in concert on Wednesday night at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City. What a fantastic experience. They're touring in support of their new album right now ("o"). Don't miss the chance to see them live if you can - the stage show is brilliant. They'll be back in SLC on Sept. 15 and I'll definitely be there to see them again.

Here's a post-concert photo of me with Neely Jenkins, one of the two lead singers.

Neely also plays bass guitar and is one of the three band members who perform percussion by tap dancing on elevated wooden platforms during the songs. She's fun to watch on stage because she's constantly smiling just like this, which has the effect of making the music more inviting and ultimately more intimate. The band as a whole do a wonderful job of avoiding the anguished performer persona on stage, which, while mystifying and interesting for lots of stage acts, does tend to create a barrier between performer and listener. Tilly and the Wall seem so accessible and that makes the music more poignant, or just more fun, depending on the song.

Thoughts from the show:

1. I'm old. Most of the "scene" kids there were Shane and me circa 12-15 years ago. Still, there's a part of me that still "gets it" and probably always will. Whatever punk is, it's in the heart.

2. Kilby Court is a brilliant venue. The place can't be more than 600 square feet and that includes the stage space that the bands occupy. The ceilings are old wooden beams layered with a tin roof and the walls are cinder block and corrugated tin. The band entrance is a dilapidated wooden single garage door. Imagine seeing a band perform live in your living room, if your living room had concrete floors, cinder block walls, and could barely pass muster with the city inspector.

3. Tilly and the Wall are so refreshing. Obviously Kianna Alarid is part of that equation.

She and Neely command the stage brilliantly. Their co-vocals have a richness at times and a purity at others; the band is alternatively playful and pensive. Check out "Falling Without Knowing" from my Playlist for an example. This song has a groovy Blondie-esque sound to it; not typical of all of their stuff but quite nice here.

Because the stage (and the whole room) at Kilby Court are microscopic, lead tap-dancer Jamie Pressnall had to put her wooden tap platform in the very back of the stage where the drummers probably sit for most shows. She wasn't miked for vocals so she spent the whole show tapping her heart out in the back. Great job, Jamie!

Two more things about the band: Nick White had two keyboards set up across an aisle from each other and at times was playing both of them at the same time, one hand on each. Very nice.

Also, there's a dude playing guitar on this tour who is not an official band member - I can't seem to find out who he is - but this juice man looks exactly like Adam Morrison of Gonzaga basketball fame, only 8 inches shorter. Seriously, this guy could easily be riding the pine for the Charlotte Bobcats if he wasn't playing backing guitar for Tilly right now.

Compare this photo of the mysterious Adam Morrison impersonator (in background)

with this photo of the biggest bust in the history of #3 overall NBA draft picks:

All in all it was a great show. Get on the Tilly and the Wall bandwagon if you aren't already.


Aaron said...

The good news: The band plays here at the Club Congress on 7/13.

The bad news: That's a Sunday, the day on which I usually rest from concert-going.

Supercords said...

Excellent post Joseph. You do great justice in words, while I rely mostly on pictures.

As for that Sep 15th show--the only place I've seen Tilly listed as playing is on that flier we received. Everywhere else online they are absent from the bill. I'll investigate further and get back to you.

Natalie said...

I like you better in the arms of another skinny blonde girl! Did she go with you? Sounds like a great concert!

Captain Emus said...

We tried to get her to come with us but she wouldn't. She's coming to the Sept. 15 show.