Once again I stepped outside of my normal realm of musical tastes to venture into the world of “indie girl rock”. Last month it was Rilo Kiley. This month it was the Tilly and the Wall show at Emo’s Thursday night. I had a good time at Rilo Kiley, so I was up for some Tilly.
As I arrived at Emo’s, the place was kind of empty as the show didn’t start until an hour later. Those that were there early seemed to be a similar crowd to the people I saw at Rilo Kiley. There were lots of teen girls that looked straight out of the Urban Outfitters catalogue. There was no shortage of leggings, 60s style dexter glasses (or what I call Lisa Loebs) and headbands. The few guys in attendance seemed to be with their dates or girlfriends.
The first band to start the night was a young
The second band on the bill, Belaire, came on shortly there after Ringo Deathstarr wrapped up. Belaire is another band whose name I had seen and heard but have never seen live. I noticed a larger crowd had come in for Belaire, with even more headbands and leotards to go around. Once Belaire got started, it immediately became an idie rock dance party. Oh yeah, the sweet-sweet electro pop, synthesized sounds have a lot of power over of the hipster and indie girl persuasion. They can’t help but move to it.
I didn’t catch the names of their songs really, except for one called “
Finally around came the headliner we were all waiting for, Tilly and the Wall. You could tell they were coming by all the glitter and balloons circulating around. It was going to be “one of those shows” I thought to myself. The reality of it was that I didn’t know what to expect. All I ever heard about this band other than the SXSW reviews was that they had a tap dancing percussionist. Right in the middle of the stage was an elevated wood platform. There were also two smaller wood platforms by each microphone towards the front of the stage. I couldn’t wait to see what all that was about.
As soon Tilly and the Wall came out, all you could heard was screaming cheers. They even brought out more balloons and yes, a tap dancer. The two lead vocalists, Neely and Kianna, were both wearing tap shoes as well to enhance the tap effect. It was definitely original and cool.
Besides the tap dance percussion, Tilly brought with them an elaborate lighting system to provide a real psychedelic atmosphere and further enhance their live show. The lights were even brighter than their clothing, which as you can see from the clips and pictures, is pretty bright. It was like living in an episode of “Laugh In” for a second there.
Once they got started, I was totally drawn in. There was not one second that went by during their set where I was bored, spaced out, or dying to leave. I couldn’t have been more entertained by something so unfamiliar to me. I heard so many familiar elements from other bands as I listened to Tilly and the Wall. I heard some elements of Simon and Garfunkel, The Cars, The Bangles, The Octopus Project, and even Abba. Yes, Abba.
Tilly and Wall is something straight out of the 60s. If Tilly was around during the first
Tilly is now a band I will continue to listen to. Pull my man card if you want. I don’t care. I probably left it Rilo Kiley anyway. I’d recommend Tilly and the Wall to anyone, and I mean anyone, even if for just their live show. Check out a clip of my favorite song of theirs, called “Pot Kettle Black”.
Tilly and the Wall standout tracks: Pot Kettle Black, Tall Tall Grass