Jenny and Johnny is composed of Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice. Lewis of Rilo Kiley fame is name enough to sell out venues before the bands debut record ever dropped.
Lewis is a goddamn pro. She’s commanding with her dull red hair and bright red dress. She smiled like a child and waved as if she had no idea she was so adored. She’s used to being a front woman, but for the night, it was obvious she was sharing the reigns with Rice. Rice looked dirty with bands obstructing his view and a goofy smile plastered on his face. The two of them sounded magical when they harmonized, their voices blended just right. They shared glances and lovesick smiles. They made jokes and shared brief moments of intimacy. Rice is a better musician with Lewis by his side.
They performed the majority of their record and while the material isn’t as good as previous work by Lewis, it stands out on its own as something entirely different. The crowd went insane when the two of them launched into Lewis’ solo material. While most of the songs were off of Acid Tongue, a mediocre record, Rice enhanced them.
They also played “Melt Your Heart” from Rabbit Fur Coat, which was an odd choice considering how slow and quiet the song is. The crowd was almost overpowering with their chatter. But that’s not to say, the two didn’t nail it.
Lewis debut a new song, “One of the Guys,” the song was better than their entire record. It was straight up country and it put Lewis in both her element and back as the lead. These songs aren’t groundbreaking, but Lewis is endearing and enchanting.
The show ended with a cover of “Love Hurts” just like every other show and it felt right and they did not appear bored. In fact, they owned it.
Jenny & Johnny will probably never become what Rilo Kiley was, but who cares? These two are having fun now and that’s what really matters.