At first glance, you would think that Julien Baker was just attending a concert herself. Before her set began at House of Vans Chicago, Baker was sneaking through the crowd unnoticed, hanging out at the bar and chatting up her friends just as if she herself had bought a ticket like everyone else standing around. Out-of-bed hair, a band shirt with loose jeans and some low top Vans (of course) made a humble outfit for the modern folk singer. Baker appeared as if she was just singing in her living room for her roommates.
Baker first came into the music scene in 2010 with the band The Star Killers, which was later renamed to Forrister in 2015. It was around this time that her solo work also gained traction, with first her EP Sprained Ankle. Two years later in 2017, Baker released her second album Turn Out The Lights, which achieved notoriety among Billboard’s folk album charts. Currently, Baker is making music in the group boygenius along with artists Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. Their self entitled EP boygenius was released in 2018,
Her modest appearance only added to the intimate allure of the uncomplicated set; just Julien Baker with her guitar, petals and keyboard. The backdrop, an oversized tapestry with her name and what appeared to be small images that could be interpreted as flash tattoos—was the perfect representation of simplicity and authenticity, considering Baker has many visible pieces of ink. A straightforward performance of emotional songs and sounds wooed the loyal crowd, some of whom drove over 3 hours to see the show. Concert goers were often heard cheering, whistling and screaming the occasional, “WE LOVE YOU!” The whole evening was simple yet elegantly done with a sprinkle of warm feelings. Whereas some artists enjoy the pizazz of the hoopla of performing, Julien Baker clearly just wanted to do one thing and do it well: play her music.