Though the highlight of my Noise Pop schedule had come and gone, I still had some shows to see on the last day of the festival. Off to the Rickshaw Stop, then, for Tilly and the Wall.
Tilly and the Wall, Rickshaw Stop, March 2, 2008: I stay home a lot more than I used to, but given the right coaxing, venue, and timing, I can be easily convinced to check out a band I haven't seen. Such was the case with Tilly and the Wall, whom Paul counts among his favorite touring bands. Alas, I've repeatedly missed their shows in the Bay Area, so this gig was a long time coming.
For all of Paul's talk of them, I didn't know much about Tilly and the Wall except that they had a tap dancer in the band. But I was willing to keep an open mind--and was rewarded by a really fun, youthful show with the kind of wholehearted, carefree energy that often goes missing from the somber singer-songwriter affairs I favor or the self-consciously cool, aloof bands whose gigs sometimes litter my schedule as well.
It started before the show even began, as they set up the stage with a homemade neon backdrop and handed out balloons to the audience. The fans took their cue to inflate the balloons and bat them around the room while a hip-hop soundtrack supplied by the band's soundman played over the speakers.
From there, the band soon took the stage and simply blew the roof off the place. There were hands in the air, warnings/encouragement to shake our bodies, and calls for help with the shout-along choruses.
I wouldn't know where to begin in trying to describe their sound. Certainly, they have the two main vocalists sharing harmonies and backed by a couple of guitarists, a keyboardist, a drummer, and their extra percussionist (the tap dancer), but that in no way limits them to a specific genre. They'd be the perfect accompaniment for your Saturday night pre-going-out ritual, as well as for the actual going out itself. I can't imagine leaving the show without a smile on your face; they were that infectiously and effortlessly fun.
Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the openers. We missed Little Teeth, the first band on the bill, but heard their shrieks and noise movements from outside the club. Tally Hall, the second band, weren't bad, but they were gimmicky in a way that reminded me of OK GO, for example. Capgun Coup kept me interested for about half their set, with very lo-fi, unpretentious songs, but by the second half, the singer's voice started to grate on me. I'm going to have to call it another overall miss for the Noise Pop crew, though the headliners once again delighted.