By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published May 24, 2008 at 9:30 AM

Friday's Rilo Kiley show at The Pabst Theater started at 8 p.m. with a performance by Nik Freitas. At 9:15, The Spinto Band took the stage. By 10:15, the audience was clearly ready for Riley -- yelling out their name and walking out on the opening act for restroom and beverage breaks.

By 10:25, I wasn't sure we were going to see Rilo Kiley at all. But at 10:35 p.m., we finally, finally did.

And it was definitely worth the wait.

The sold-out show lasted a little over an hour, followed by a two-song encore, but it was a Jenny Lewis love fest from start to finish.

Lewis, the lead singer of the band, was dressed in a signature sparkly leotard and tights. She was clearly the coolest and sexiest girl in the room -- she even laid on the stage in a bedroom lounge pose at one point -- but her demeanor was sweet and friendly. (Translation: She's the girl other girls would love to hate, but just can't.)

Lewis said few words to the audience, but what she didn't offer in conversation, she made up for with the quality of her voice.

Inspired by strong, country female singers like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline, Lewis' voice is clearly flavored by her favorite ladies. Prior to Rilo Kiley's 2004 upbeat, indie rock release, "More Adventurous," Lewis had more of a melancholy country sound than today, but those influences remain.

Half of the material performed during Friday's show was from the August 2007 release, "Under the Blacklight." The band opened with "Close Call," and went on to deliver "Moneymaker," "Dreamworld," "15" (dedicated to the 15-year-olds in the audience) and big hits "Breaking Up" and "Silver Lining."

"Silver Lining" featured massive, confetti-filled balloons dropped on the audience.

Rilo Kiley dished up deeper cuts, too,  like "Absence of God," "With Arms Outstretched," "Ripchord," "It's A Hit" and, in the encore, "Portions for Foxes."

The band's songs have appeared in "The O.C.," "Dawson's Creek," "Grey's Anatomy," "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" and more. Lewis was a childhood actress who performed in television shows like "Baywatch," "Golden Girls," "Growing Pains," "Roseanne" and "Mr. Belevedere," which also featured Milwaukee Brewers' baseball announcer, Bob Uecker.

The show began with a pre-packaged feel, but over time, thanks to Lewis' talent and warmth -- and the phenomenal performances by the other band members -- it felt more like a rare opportunity to see an important musical group.

If only it could have gone on longer ... and started a little earlier.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.