Whitney rounded out their Forever Turned Around tour with 5 nights at Thalia Hall in their hometown of Chicago. The historic venue is one of my favorites in town, and its rustic charm made for the perfect setting for the band’s shows. A beautiful backdrop was suspended behind the band, and all the musicians were dressed to the nines for the occasion. After opening the show, singer and drummer Julien Ehrlich confessed that it was his first time wearing a turtle neck and that it was hotter than he had anticipated. Under the bright lights of the venue and knowing he would be going at the drums for the next hour or so, the concern was legit.
Despite the discomfort of the hot turtle neck and Ehrlich being on the mend after losing his voice earlier in the week, Whitney put on an excellent set. Backed by horns and a string section, electric and acoustic guitars, and drums and keyboards, the band expertly wove together rich, textured melodies that gave me a sense of comfort and nostalgia. Ehrlich’s incredible vocals and guitarist Max Kakacek’s flowing riffs were the cherry on top of already flaweless instrumentation. Throughout their set, you could hear influnces from various genres and time periods. Some songs had a more vintage, retro feeling while others had more folk-country vibes. But regardless of the spirit of the song, all of them came with a heavy dose of soul.
We are lucky to have Whitney call Chicago their home and I’m sure everyone in attendance those 5 nights left feeling just as fulfilled as I did!
Review and photos by Abby Walter