Chicago Cultural Center // Chicago, IL // May 21, 2018
Only the queen of indie rock could play such a cool venue.
To celebrate the release of her newest album, Aussie rocker Courtney Barnett played Tell Me How You Really Feel in its entirety for hundreds of her biggest fans. The best part? Barnett’s show was at the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, which boasts a massive glass domed roof and beautiful acoustics. This venue is rarely used for such incredible concerts, but thanks to local bar and venue Empty Bottle and Barnett’s fandom, she was able to sell out the hall and deliver a long, powerful night of kickass alt rock.
Barnett’s Americana-inspired melodies and Dylan-esque, verbose lyrics are back with this new album, and fans fell even more in love with her. Tracks like “City Looks Pretty” and “I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch” have some of Barnett’s most personal and biting lyrics, offering a glimpse into her personal life while still keeping everyone at bay. Each of the songs on Tell Me How You Really Feel plays like a page out of the artist’s diary, with a little bit of sarcasm and internal dialogue with her own thoughts. Her shows are always energetic and meaningful, but this one felt extra special. Being in a such a beautiful venue late on a Monday night while listening to a brand new album? This show felt like a true gift for Barnett’s fans.
While it hasn’t been verified, one of the oddest moments of the evening was the circulating rumor (and plethora of Instagram stories) that U2’s Bono had quietly showed up to watch her perform. The band played a show in Chicago the following day, so it’s certainly possible that Bono (with his bodyguard in tow) came to the cultural center. Just the rumor of the rocker being in the crowd made a lot of concert-goers excite. If Bono was there, he no doubt was impressed by Barnett’s electric performance.
Courtney Barnett is currently on tour throughout the U.S. and will be returning to Chicago in July for Pitchfork Music Festival. For tour dates and tickets, click HERE.