I went to my first solo concert on Valentine’s Day, and never again will I question going to a concert by myself! I was worried I would feel awkward or stared at, but it was actually quite nice and there were definitely other people there by themselves too. Apparently going to concerts by yourself is a thing?? I saw Sharon Van Etten at Thalia Hall in Pilsen, and she was just a babe. She came out in a red velvet jumper/pant suit thing and it really worked for her.
She played a mix of her older soulful, folk-y stuff, and newer more upbeat rock jams. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but her new one, “Seventeen”, was great. I was also happy to see “Jupiter 4”, “Every Time the Sun Comes Up”, “One Day”, and “Your Shadow”.
I went to see Hurray for the Riff Raff this past weekend with a friend at Thalia Hall in Pilsen, and we actually saw them at the same venue last Spring about this same time. They were just as good as last year, and their performance of this song particularly spoke to me. I like the idea of a woman being in command of herself, standing her ground, and sticking to her guns! It’s a practice I’m trying to be more mindful of.
I love going to concerts but they can be an isolating experience…you’re surrounded by a crowd of people, so in some ways it’s a collective experience. But each person in the audience is also having a unique experience because the way that music makes us feel is so personal. Whatever thoughts or emotions music elicits in us is specific to us, so in this sense it’s a totally individual experience…it’s a bit sad that you’re with so many people, yet alone. But of course it’s still fun to experience the music, nonetheless.
I recently saw Hurray for the Riff Raff perform at Thalia Hall in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and it was such a treat. I went because my friend had an extra ticket and I decided to go after watching 5 minutes of a YouTube video of one of their performances. I wasn’t too familiar with their music but I wanted to go with my friend and I really didn’t know what I was in for. It was one of those things that you don’t expect anything from and then it surprises you with an amazing experience that just makes you feel connected to yourself. Not to mention how hot the lead singer, Alynda Segarra, of Puerto Rican roots is…and I don’t mean just physically – I mean certainly, that’s a given; but she has a presence on stage that commands the attention and respect of the audience and connects with them through her voice, which is perfect for the bluesy, old school sound of the band. Their new album, The Navigator, has a political message that is all too crucial right now given our political climate. If you don’t know Hurray for the Riff Raff, you should absolutely give them a listen if you want something inspiring and soothing.
The venue, Thalia Hall, has a very cool hipster, vintage vibe complete with a a restaurant and separate bar. Originally built as an opera house, it now hosts concerts and events.
After the concert we went to La Vaca, which is just down a little ways from Thalia Hall, which has a very lively atmosphere and some seriously tasty margaritas!