By Gabe Andreen, 15, Pilgrim School
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I had been looking forward to going to the Greek Theater to see Rilo Kiley since I bought the tickets a month ago. Finally Wednesday, June 18 had arrived, and all I could do was think about or talk about Rilo Kiley.

Lead singer Jenny Lewis was so tiny compared to the stage, but as she gave a shout out to her hometown L.A., I was shocked by how powerful her voice was and the emotion it carried. By the second song, “Moneymaker,” I was standing up and singing along. I did this for most of the concert.

The guitarist Blake Sennett also stood out. During “Dreamworld,” I was amazed by how he shredded the guitar. And during “Ripchord,” he took out the acoustic guitar and played a melody that made my spine shiver.

My favorite moment was during “Silver Lining.” A guy dressed in something that looked like a banana (or fish) suit threw balloons filled with silver and gold glitter into the crowd. As the balloons floated in the air, they started to pop, sprinkling glitter over the audience, which made the song playful.

Live, Rilo Kiley was infinitely better than on a recording. I danced and sang along for most of the concert. I wanted to cry during “Pictures of Success” as Jenny Lewis sang about what it feels like to say goodbye to something important to you. Other times, I felt like just sitting down and soaking in the music (“With Arms Outstretched”). The openers were weak and I was really anxious for Rilo Kiley to step on stage and perform, I had paid $33.50 to see them, not the hippie lead singer of Lavender Diamond sing love songs to Mother Earth. After an hour of waiting for the band, Rilo Kiley stepped on stage and the whole theater screamed and cheered.

Rilo Kiley had an amazing connection with the audience, letting us sing parts of the songs. At the end of “With Arms Outstretched,” the audience sang out: “This day by the lake/went too fast.” I loved every song, but I wish they had played “The Execution of All Things,” my favorite Rilo Kiley song.