Earlier this year, I walked by Jenny Lewis in the halls of WNYC, when she came in to do a spot on All of It, our afternoon show, and I was struck by the contrast between her voice, which can go from sweet and poppy to chest-thumping rage in a single song, and her size, which with her hair down and standing in sneakers, appeared to be about 5'1".

On stage it's a different story. On Thursday night at the Kings Theater on Flatbush she was in full 1970s glam-star mode, and from where I was shooting pictures in the pit, appeared to be about seven feet tall in heels, a towering red bouffant, and sparkling mermaid dress. It's not just the fashion—she is a commanding, steely presence on stage, and despite the vulnerability of her lyrics, which often return to themes of love lost, a rough childhood, and drug problems, she seems totally in control of the audience, with every gesture, stage movement, and talk between songs (including an extended bit where she took a call on a neon light-up phone) perfectly planned and executed.

In short, despite giving up her film career twenty years ago, she's still a talented actress, perfectly cast as an indomitable mid-career rocker. Whatever her personal troubles—her years of insomnia, her mother's recent death after years of heroin addiction—she always shows up. She's written about this in her music, perhaps best on the 2002 Rilo Kiley track "A Better Son/Daughter":

And sometimes when you're on /

You're really fucking on /

And your friends, they sing along and they love you /

But the lows are so extreme /

That the good seems fucking cheap /

And it teases you for weeks in its absence /

But you'll fight and you'll make it through

You'll fake it if you have to /

And you'll show up for work with a smile

Last night Jenny Lewis was all smiles, surrounded by an adoring crowd of Brooklyn beards, Bernie shirts, and asymmetrical haircuts that almost completely filled the cavernously beautiful 3000-seat Kings Theater. She returned the favor with a set heavy on songs from her 4th solo album, "On the Line," which came out back in March, starting with a particularly strong opening combination of the first two tracks, "Heads Gonna Roll" and "Wasted Youth," before moving on to other crowd-pleasers like "Do-Si-Do," "Hollywood Lawn" and "Red Bull & Hennessey".

Throughout the show, Jenny worked the room with plenty of "What's up, Flatbush!" repartee and shout-outs to hometown heroes like Busta Rhymes. She seemed genuinely appreciative of the supportive crowd, and introduced one song thanking them: "Shit is fucked up out there, and a little community goes a long way... it's all we've got."

She also reached back into her catalog, doing Rilo Kiley's poppy "Silver Lining" and ringing "I Never", along with "Rise Up With Fists!" and "Melt Your Heart" from her albums with the Watson Twins, who backed her on stage after a strong opening performance of their own, which included a slightly country version of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven." Jenny also did a cover of Bob Dylan's haunting "Standing in the Doorway", shortly before a very satisfying 4-song encore, ending with "Rabbit Hole."

Towards the end of that song, a man in a rabbit suit appeared on stage, and after crowning a few members of the band with rabbit ears and top-hats, attempted to robe her in the manner of James Brown. The rabbit then carried her off-stage, as the crowd, which had been on its feet for the entire show, gave a round of rapturous applause.