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It is hard to believe that it has been merely four years since Sharon Van Etten’s debut album epic found its way in to the world. If you are not familiar, Van Etten’s career has been an exciting one to watch blossom and change from album to album. Her newest release, Are We There, shows a great deal of growth from her strong but humble beginnings. As she commanded the crowd at her sold out Thalia Hall show in Chicago this past Friday, nothing was clearer than this: Sharon Van Etten is a force to be reckoned with.
From the moment Sharon took the stage, the crowd was locked in on her witty banter that seemed all at once nervous and confident. Her endearing commentary was as intimate as if we all were in her living room sipping wine and sharing stories. However, as soon as each song began, her true talent and honesty shone brightly through the crowd. Captivating renditions of “Afraid Of Nothing,” “Break Me,” and “Don’t Do It” left the audience mesmerized. Her band provided seamless support throughout the entire thirteen song set, which included an unreleased B-side Sharon deemed, ‘Her most hopeful song yet.” The combination of Thalia Hall’s beautiful live room and Sharon Van Etten’s raw talent made for a remarkable show. From the stage she thanked Thalia Hall (stating she wasn’t sure how to pronounce it, and neither did we) for having her, and that she would certainly be back.
Throughout the show, Sharon Van Etten rotated between a Guild acoustic guitar and a gorgeous 1960s Fender Jaguar, playing through Fender Amps and an Eventide Timefactor delay pedal. Her show was a great reminder that hard work pays off, talented musicians can rise to the top, and that music is alive and well.
Photos by Shelby Pollard.
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