Amidst the starry stage landscape, the unicorn-embellished walls and the youthful, jam-packed, sweat-drenched crowd, Omaha, Neb., quintet Tilly and the Wall was right at home, literally (two members of the band—guitarist Derek Pressnall and keyboardist Nick White—are from Atlanta).
“It feels good to be back,” Pressnall declared. The hour-long set to follow was nothing short of a celebration—full of energetic, dance-along rhythms, colorful stage antics (as evidenced by the band’s tap dancer Jamie Williams) and spontaneous marriage proposals.
Kicking off the night with “Sing Songs Along,” a track off its latest album, Bottoms of Barrels, Tilly immediately had the crowd intrigued. Choosing a tropical-themed stage set complete with multi-colored pinwheels and flower-wrapped mic stands, the band frolicked through high-energy crowd favorites like “Fell Down the Stairs” and “Rainbows in the Dark.” After finishing the latter, and receiving overwhelming praise from the crowd, vocalist Neely Jenkins choked up. “You guys made me cry!” she said. But perhaps Jenkins was just preparing herself for what was coming.
Pausing in between songs, vocalist Kianna Alarid announced the supposed winner of a T-shirt contest. After the “winner” made his way to the stage (with girlfriend in tow), Alarid handed him his shirt which contained the message, “Tracy will you marry me?” The crowd burst into screams, Jenkins and Alarid became teary-eyed and the soon-to-be fiancé gasped as her boyfriend knelt to plant a ring on her finger.
In the moment’s spirit, the band dedicated its next track, “Love Song,” to the happy couple.
The rest of the evening proceeded at a festive high. Opening act David Dondero and his drummer, Craig D., stepped to the stage to back the band during several songs, most notably “Lost Girls” and “Urgency.”
Although the set was packed with energy, the highlight came during the encore. “This song’s about Atlanta, Ga.,” Pressnall said before blasting into the anthemic “Nights of the Living Dead.” The band invited Dondero and D. back onstage, as well as the band’s friends and family members in attendance, and—for the next three minutes and 55 seconds—the tiny Drunken Unicorn stage was where the party was at.