Singer-songwriter darling Jenny Lewis made her solo debut on Austin City Limits this past Wednesday, almost ten years after her first appearance with Rilo Kiley. There was a buzz of excitement as everyone grabbed their spots for the taping. The stage was already adorned with rainbow and star printed fabric over the keyboards, drum kit and guitars. The Lisa Frank look was inspired by the cover of her newest album The Voyager, which has captured the hearts of her fans, old and new.
Decked out head to toe in a rainbow and star covered blazer with matching boots, Lewis opened the show with “Silver Lining,” a Rilo Kiley favorite that has a country kick to it. She followed with “Rise Up With Fists!!,” another folksy song in her catalog off her debut solo album. Indeed, the whole set drew from classic ’70s sounds. Songs off The Voyager such as “She’s Not Me” and “Love U Forever” brought to mind Fleetwood Mac and the power pop of Tom Petty. When her frequent collaborator (and current boyfriend) Johnathan Rice joined her on stage, they launched into the funky Rilo Kiley cut “The Moneymaker” and the bluesy stomp of “The Next Messiah,” sending the Moody Theater into a frenzy with vintage sounds made new.
Lewis closed the set with “Acid Tounge” accompanied by the gospel tinged harmonies of her remarkable backing band. The crowd wanted more. She delivered with a stirring rendition of the classic Rilo Kiley cut “With Arms Outstretched” to close out the show. It was a truly moving night, with not a wasted moment, a set perfectly paced. Make sure to catch the taping on PBS early next year.
* Live photos courtesy of KLRU. All photos below by Scott Newton.