Damien Rice at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL

It’s been a long wait, but Damien Rice finally made a very welcomed return to Chicago, selling out the Auditorium Theatre.

After the huge cheers quieted down from welcoming Damien Rice back to the Chicago stage, the Auditorium Theatre experienced something that is extremely rare at concerts these days. The audience was requested to turn their phones off so there wasn’t a sea of mobile phones blocking people’s views. It was also respectfully quiet, you could have heard a pin drop. With that, Rice took his place perched on the edge of the stage as he opened the show with “Amie.” To say he captivated the audience is an understatement. 

Although the beginning of the show gave the impression that the audience would remain seated and quiet throughout, this changed into quite the opposite. “Woman Like A Man” was one of the first songs to break this cycle. The stage lights were almost like another band member on stage, due to the impact they had on the performance and atmosphere. It was impressive to witness. The song roared to life with the added element of the dramatic flashing lights. At one point, Rice asked the audience to stand up and move towards the front of the venue, which an abundance of fans rushed to do. He said that due to the time difference between people clapping and the sound reaching the stage, it was distracting. 

Throughout the show, audience members would scream out their song requests which Rice did his best to oblige. For a number of songs, he was joined on stage by Francisca Barreto who played the cello and also provided additional vocals. Her contributions to songs such as “9 Crimes” were incredible, to say the least. 

It’s been eight very long years since Rice last performed in Chicago. He did, however, promise it wouldn’t be so long next time. In fact, there are plans for him to return to the US on tour next year, however, these dates and locations have not yet been released. With just five dates on this extremely limited run of shows across the country, it’s no wonder the Chicago engagement sold out so quickly. 

Those who were lucky enough to secure tickets were treated to a show that will surely stick with them for a long time to come. It was truly a magical evening. Rice’s voice was captivating, bringing his beautiful lyrics to life. You couldn’t help but be drawn in by the performance. To be in a venue as large as the Auditorium and it be so quiet you were conscious of your own breathing is a feat all in itself. It was a simple setup, often at times with just Damien and his guitar, and an impressive light show, but an impactful show nonetheless.

When next year’s dates are announced and go on sale, be sure to snag those tickets quickly. They will sell out and you never know how long it will be before you get the opportunity again. 

DAMIEN RICE
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AUDITORIUM THEATRE
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About Kirstine Walton 386 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!