I love lots of things in life: small babies, free beer, hugs (sometimes all at the same time, it's true). I'm sort of a happy-go-lucky person that way; little things make me the utmost elated. Most people who meet me will discover this crazy dumb fun "I love everyone" attitude about me within the first ten minutes of initial encounter. It's internal programming that can't really be changed.
That being said, I thought Tilly and the Wall might be the band to encompass this joyous merriment part of my personality. I walked into the Great American Music Hall Tuesday night to shiny silver fabrics draped over the main stage balcony, and I spotted a disco ball stashed for later purposes. It also looked like everyone was dressed in sequins or had a headband on, so it seemed I was in store for a spectacle of some caliber.
San Francisco band Loquat took stage before Tilly, and it was one of those things where you totally forget you love a band until you see them again and are reminded why they are so close to your heart. I'm an asshole for forgetting Kylee Swenson has one of the prettiest and sultriest voices live; she's capable of not only purring into your ear for build-up but also for belting out to really drive home her range. The band is currently testing out the waters for new full-length Secrets of the Sea that will drop in October; if tracks like "Harder Hit" are any indication of the fuzzed out layered guitar goodness I witnessed live, I am thoroughly excited to spin that record in my beat-up boom box.
People began bouncing around a ton of balloons as Tilly and the Wall climbed on stage, singers Kianna and Neely raising their hands gospel-style and tap dancer Jaime taking front and center to jive to the sounds, resulting in this weird church-like indie experience. But while Tilly and co brought the sparkle and the pizzazz visually to stage - literally and figuratively - a variable seemed to missing to complete the awesome equation. The tap dancing is amusing, yes; it actually adds another level to percussion that holsters up the dance quotient. "Pot Kettle Black" is a great club anthem a la Riot Grrl proportions, and I've seen scene kids shake their pretentious egos at it before caving in to dance themselves. And while "Beat Control" sounds like the lovechild between a Disney after school special theme song and Gloria Estefan's "Conga," it still emits a ray of happiness that is undeniable in energy.
But suffice to say, the novelty does wear off a bit. It's more moodier gems or big band-feel songs like "Cacophony" that makes Tilly work better, but I think sometimes that is pushed to the wayside in favor of the whimsical. But is that always better? I couldn't help notice the irony in that, as I'm always trying to balance this carefree spirit I have with the hard-whipped, studious work ethic I possess for my job and important assignments. But I suppose it's the trick, right? Trying to figure out how to make it all work?
It's been hot in San Francisco recently; when I came out of the show, I decided to walk home instead of taking the bus. The sky was clear for once, and as I walked down Van Ness I wondered if my own novelty of being so ridiculously lighthearted sometimes would ever wear off. Maybe I will always have this odd dichotomy of being so aplomb but yet childlike; it's all about the balance, no? Or maybe I just need to wear sequins more. Who knows?