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  • Writer's pictureJulian Ramirez

A Perfect Evening at the Salt Shed with Waxahatchee and Good Morning

Sometimes you need the right balance of calm and invigorating music to make your weekend settle just right. This past weekend the Salt Shed was home to an evening full of amazing musicians that did exactly that. Sold out far in advance, Waxahatchee and Good Morning took to one of the best venues in the city and gave the crowd an evening of perfect songs.

The evening started off with Australian band Good Morning, really setting the stage for the evening softer and more melodic atmosphere. While the band is typically the duo of Liam Parsons and Stefan Blair, for this opening tour spot they had a full band to make their dreamy and tender jams all the more impressive. Performing tracks primarily from their latest album Good Morning Seven, Good Morning deftly maneuvered through the set. While I was initially unfamiliar with the band, I was instantly hooked by their sound which had that throwback feel of hidden gem of a bygone decade. "$10" finished off their set, underlining their laid back presentation with a delicate exclamation point.

The sold out show felt truly special as I walked through the crowd. Ready to swoon their nights away to Katie Crutchfield's voice and guitar, the diverse crowd was full of listeners new and old. It was the type of crowd Waxahatchee rightfully deserves. Now it should come as no surprise that Chicago came out in droves for Waxahatchee as she has a strong connection to our fair city. Last year, Crutchfield was unexpectedly at Empty Bottle performing with Bonny Doon. Her touring band features a few familiar Chicago musicians like Colin Croom, Clay Frankel, and Spencer Tweedy with Eliana Athayde and Cole Berggren filling out the remainder of the lineup. So as they stepped on to the stage to the tune of Cheap Trick's "Southern Girls", the Chicago vibes were more than alright.

Crutchfield started off her time on the Salt Shed stage with Tigers Blood's opening track "3 Sisters". It seems like with every Waxahatchee release there is a song that feels like ether the perfect opener or finisher to a live show. "3 Sisters" easily fits that bill as it's familiar cadence and Crutchfield's unwavering voice gives the song an anthemic feel.

The setlist was full of Waxahatchee 's latest output, eschewing her early albums in favor of her more refined sound. Now for most early fans like myself, I could see that being a slight to her more indie rock beginnings. But considering just how pristine and focused her work on Saint Cloud, Plains (with the incredible Jess Williamson), and Tigers Blood it was a welcome treat. In fact she played the entirety of the Tigers Blood for the Salt shed crowd that night, full immersing them in the album's unbridled confidence.

Having seen Plains a couple years ago, I was ecstatic to hear a pair of songs off the project again. Espcially since they were "Line of Sight" and "Hurricane", two songs that rank high for me in the Crutchfield and Williamson's songbook. "Hurricane" in particular with it's notions of being too much to handle but still worthy of love felt completely perfect tucked in the latte half of the night. "Baby, I'll come back to you" echoed through the room with purpose, delighting the packed house. The encore sent everyone off with a trio of songs: "Oxbow", "365" and "Fire", capping off one of the more beautiful nights I've had at the Salt Shed.



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