Darlingside @ North Shore Center

A few weeks back, late one night, I decided to look up some favorite bands to see when they were playing near Chicago. I happened to see that Darlingside was going to be (somewhat) close, in Skokie… and decided to pop on some tickets.

I did this as a surprise, thinking it would be a good date night idea for me and Liz. It’s been a while since we’ve done anything super social, and this felt like a good excuse to get out.

We both left work a bit early, and headed out circa 4PM. We avoided the worst of the evening commute, and got to a Bar Sienna nearby for some pre-show drinks and an early dinner.

Outside North Shore Center, in Skokie. We’d later learn that this was the hotel parking lot, and ended up moving around to a space behind the theater.

Inside, milling about. I actually got the times wrong… and had us arrive at 7PM when the opening act actually started at 7:30.

Our seats, waiting for the show to begin.

I have to confess – a lot of the crowd? Older. Like, gray hair older. Which isn’t a dealbreaker, because… Skokie? But the audience was definitely on the senior end of the spectrum.

I honestly didn’t care. I was genuinely excited to see these guys in person, and our seats made it feel very intimate.

I did fight back the urge to ask everyone around me “How did you hear of these guys,” because I honestly couldn’t recall how they first came across my radar.

I’m guessing maybe Spotify recommendations? But the folks around us looked to me like they’d have trouble with their voicemail, let alone being able to listen to contemporary music.

A brief shot of the group, performing.

I do have to say, they sounded incredible in person. They’re one of those rare bands that sound as good live as they do on their recordings. It was a pleasure to hear some of my favorite songs in person, and their harmonies were even lovelier, in an auditorium.

On our way out, I stopped to get a t-shirt. And as we made our way to the car, I happened to see one of the band members, Auyon Mukharji, who had stepped out to get some snacks post-show. He got swarmed slightly, and I was among those waiting to chat with him for a bit.

I know I’m like the 10,000th person to mention it to him… but I got the chance to tell him how much I liked “God of Loss,” and specifically the lyrics. I’m sure he’s heard it a million times, but it felt great to share how much it meant to me.

Auyon mentioned the fact that the song was based on The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. I remember reading that somewhere, and now it feels like it’s a book I need to add to my list. Auyon also mentioned something I think, about the song sitting with him/them for about 2 years before it actually became a song.

Really fun night out, tonight. This was a bit adventurous for me, which in hindsight (hanging with an older crowd in Skokie) may not be saying much… but we got out and about, more than usual. And I got to hear music that I loved. A really fun night.

Darlingside: The God of Loss
Darlingside: Harrison Ford
Gregory Alan Isakov @ Thalia Hall

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