Chrissy Metz at City Winery in Chicago, IL

Chrissy Metz brought an evening of beautiful songs and storytelling to City Winery in Chicago, with opening act Faren Rachels.

Faren Rachels was a breath of fresh air for the weeknight performance at Chicago’s City Winery. Throughout her opening performance, she provided humorous anecdotes in between each of her songs. She was always told to sing about what you know, as she went on to sing “Smoke.” This also coincided with her telling the audience she was selling merch after her set which consisted of t-shirts, cigarette lighters, and ashtrays. Very apt. Faren, or Karen with an F as she describes her name, did not let her humor attract from the songs, however, as her lyrics were extremely personal and heartfelt. A great start to the evening and a welcome distraction from the working week. 

For the last six years, millions have welcomed Chrissy Metz into their lives and their homes as they settled down to watch the uber-emotional This Is Us. Metz’s personal life reflects that of Kate Pearson’s with her passion for singing. Now the show has come to an end (oh how we miss our weekly tearful sessions!), Chrissy has now turned her attention back to her musical ventures. 

Just as Faren before her, Chrissy also added anecdotes in between each of her songs. There were clearly a huge number of This Is Us fans in attendance as every time she mentioned the show, huge cheers would resound around the room. Also as an aptly emotional nod to the show, Metz performed a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” which she sang during Rebecca’s funeral on the show. Chrissy seemed to barely hold back the tears as she sang the number, something that most of us were not able to manage during our weekly installments of the tear-jerking show. 

Chrissy has embarked on a seven-date run of shows at various City Winery venues across the country ahead of the upcoming release of her country album. The setlist for the evening was a mixture of covers and original songs, songs about love found and love lost. During every hiatus in between seasons of This Is Us, Chrissy would head to Nashville to write songs, and now on her storytelling tour, she gets to discuss how each song came about. One such story was when a highly renowned songwriter told her she didn’t want to stick around to hear the song being recorded in case it was terrible. Now that wouldn’t make you even more nervous than you already would be, now would it?!

At times, the evening would take on a slight group therapy feel as she apologized to her band members for projecting onto them as she would often skip a song on the setlist without any notice, keeping the talented band on their toes for the whole show. It’s always great when musicians get to explain the backstory of how a song came about, and this show was full of that from beginning to end. 

It was an evening of beautiful lyrics, magnificent vocals, and funny anecdotes – exactly what every weeknight show should be to help you leave your troubles at the door and escape for 90+ minutes. 

CHRISSY METZ
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FAREN RACHELS
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CITY WINERY
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About Kirstine Walton 383 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!