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  • Writer's pictureJulian Ramirez

Review: Sarah Jarosz & The Ballroom Thieves Gave Thalia Hall Some Much Needed Love

Last week Thalia Hall was treated to a wonderful pre-Valentines Day gift. Amidst all the love in the air, Sarah Jarosz and The Ballroom Thieves graced the Pilsen venue's stage for an evening of incredible music highlighted by some fantastic performances.

ballroom thieves playing center stage

The Ballroom Thieves  started off things off with a magnificent set that truly set things up perfectly. The duo of Calin Peters and Martin Earley stood at the center of the Thalia Hall, facing each other throughout, and delivered gorgeousness renditions of their songs. The pair shared vocal duties throughout, jumping from beautiful harmonizing to tender solo verses, always playing so well off each other. "In the Morning" was an obvious standout in there set as they trades off lines and left the everyone in awe of their tender performance.

ballroom thieves through a prism

There was no time to waste as Sarah Jarosz and her band made their way to the stage and jumped into their set. Fresh off her latest album Polaroid Lovers, Jarosz made sure to dedicate a hefty amount of the setlist to it; just shy of playing the entire new album live. But that's alright since most of the set was stuffed with exquisite songs. Opening track "Jealous Moon" found itself in the same spot for the live crowd, ramping up the night with heartbreak song. But this was a night all about love and as the next song "When The Lights Go Out" serenaded the crowd with endless thoughts of falling completely in love.

Saraha Jarosz in blue light

There were plenty of older songs at play too. "Green Lights" saw the stage light switch form the warm tones of the night to the green hues to match the song. The gentle love of "Build Me Up From Bones" had the crowd completely entranced by Jarosz's pristine voice. The emotionally heavy "Morning" hit all the right notes. She explained that all the songs off Blue Heron Suite are meant to played together, to evoke all the feelings she was experiencing during her mother's cancer diagnosis and the memories of her youth flooding in. But that didn't stop her from somehow synthesizing all that into "Morning", letting it overflow with it's beauty.

Saraha Jarosz through a prism

One of the biggest highlights of the evening came late into the set as Jarosz stepped to the age of the stage, leaving her guitar behind and performing with only her mic in hand. A familiar groove emanated from the band, slowly building to let Jarosz absolutely blow everyone's mind with a cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" The song is so iconic at this point having been covered endlessly and being the theme song to shows like House, but it safe for me to say that this may be the new acme of the song for me. Jarosz's voice was immaculate and the track fits snugly in her set, showing off her vocal range as eloquently as possible.

Saraha Jarosz through a kaleidoscope

The covers didn't end there as she gave Thalia Hall a little treat in her encore with Bob Dylan's "Ring them Bells". Jarosz and the band really gave it there all for this one, taking there time with great track. She ushered the appreciate crowd off with "Mezcal and Lime" a self assured love song that is perfect for warmer nights. But Jarosz made it work regardless of the temps outside. With lines like "You intoxicate me like mezcal and lime", you couldn't help but feel the love in the room.



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