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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Oiga

CHVRCHES @ Chicago | Part 1

Although concert season is every season in Chicago, I like to think the true spirit of concert-going starts when the weather finally starts to warm up and the general mood of the city picks up right along with it.

What better way to kick off "#ConcertSZN" than with one of my longtime favorite bands? And one that has a particularly special place in my heart, at that.

Let's rewind. By a few years. The first time I had even heard of CHVRCHES was back in 2013, the summer going into my junior year of high school. This was the first year that I was allowed to go to Lollapalooza without parental supervision, which meant that it was the first year that I could pick and choose which artists I wanted to see.

A practice that I still believe is integral to this today, I jumped on Spotify, hashed together a playlist from every artist's Top 5, and listened to that medley for months leading up to the festival. CHVRCHES, of course, floated right up to the top with their breakout single The Mother We Share. I did get to see them at Lolla and although the memory is a little far off, I've always remembered them as putting on an amazing live show.

Skip forward a little, maybe an album or two ahead, right up to the summer of 2018. CHVRCHES drops their much awaited album, Love Is Dead, exactly one day before I'm booked to fly to England for my eighty-two day long internship abroad program. Rarely do I ever fall in love with an entire album, but staring at a nine hour transatlantic flight and a summer-full of commuting on the Tube, I hit 'make available offline' and unknowingly downloaded what would become My UK Summer Soundtrack, the most important album of my life, the music to all of my most precious memories.

I don't think I could ever hear the beginning of Graves without immediately being taken back to the top deck of the 17 Bus, I don't think I could ever hear the refrain from Wonderland without remembering the moment I walked through the streets of Edinburgh for the very first time.

So when CHVRCHES played a tiny little festival in North London that summer, I dropped everything to make sure I could go. Smaller than Lollapalooza that very first time, but just as much hype, showmanship, and absolute magic. As festivals go, it was a short set, but I counted my blessings and tried to soak up as much of this performance as I could. After all, this could be the last chance I get to see them performing from this album, and I had resigned myself to that.

But I was wrong.

The minute CHVRCHES announced their Chicago show, many months after I had returned home from the UK, I jumped for tickets. And, like a built-in sign from fate, I was pleased to see that CHVRCHES was donating a portion of every ticket sale to the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, the overarching body of the summer camp I grew up in and eventually volunteered through. Could this be any more specific to everything important to me? I bought my ticket immediately and eagerly counted down the days.

I was going to finally see a full CHVRCHES set in my hometown.


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