These Are My Friends: A lovelytheband Live Review

by - June 25, 2019

Every August, Chicago’s Lollapalooza brings hundreds of bands to Grant Park for a four-day, music-packed weekend. In addition to the stages built inside the park, after-shows are performed at some of the city’s best venues. House of Blues hosted Catfish & The Bottlemen last year, and sitting in the balcony was lovelytheband’s lead vocalist, Mitchy Collins. At one point, he turned to the people he was with and asked, “Do you think we’ll headline here one day?”

Less than a year later, Collins and his bandmates, Jordan Greenwald and Sam Price, walked out onto the House of Blues stage for a sold-out performance on their Finding It Hard To Smile tour.

“I know it’s Wednesday, but let’s pretend it’s Friday night and we have no responsibilities tomorrow,” Collins said to the crowd that faithfully spent their night singing along to every song.

This crowd did more than just sing along. Their voices were boisterous throughout each song, including their cover of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”, yet peaceful when Collins spoke to them. Even from the balcony, the swaying of bodies, clapping and cheering was seen and heard.

The audience was unprecedented in that there was no set demographic. All walks of life stood in the crowd, with their friends or family or on their own. They all shared one common interest: love for a band that only put out their debut album less than a year ago. Of course part of that reasoning is their music; it’s addictive, it’s raw and it clearly resonates with an indistinct demographic. The other part of that reasoning is their message.

In between banter of deep dish pizza waiting for them backstage and a quick chorus of “Happy Birthday” for Price, Collins takes multiple opportunities to address situations that the world is currently struggling with. Musicians are told not to bring politics into their shows or music, he said, but “if we have a platform, we’re going to use it.”

They proudly share their support of LGBTQ+ rights, saying that Pride Month should be Pride Year.

“Love is never wrong,” Collins said. “You should be proud of who you are every moment you breathe on this Earth.”

They are equally proud to share their support for women, and stress that it is a woman’s choice to do what she wants with her body. By the end of Collins’ speeches and the majority of their set list, his voice is beginning to fade.

The crowd of a lovelytheband show is unlike most, and the message behind their show is one of love and positivity. Their music speaks to an diverse demographic, challenges boundaries and makes for an exceptional night.

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