NUNN'S THEATER HABIT
"Girls" come out for girl in red
Sun. March 27, 2022 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn
It was a rainbow of colors in the crowd for two nights at Metro as the LGBTQ+ community came out to support girl in red. Sure, there were a few straight spectators mixed in, but these were two nights to celebrate diversity in a safe and welcoming space. Chicago had two weeks of out singers on tour after the recent Clairo and Arlo Parks concert at the Riviera Theatre the week before.
Fans came out to rock out with the artist known as girl in red on March 24 and 25. Marie Ulven Ringheim originally created the project girl in red from her bedroom in 2015. This self-taught artist has had strong success with early singles and her written-in-lower case debut album if i could make it grow quiet, which has brought her out on the road.
British singer Holly Humberstone has tagged along with her as an opener to play her EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin which was released in November last year. She was a one-woman band as she played guitar, keyboards and the drum machine. Her deeply personal lyrics covered everything from being lonely in London to a song written for her sister.
It was surprising she didn't perform her new cover song of Prince's "I Would Die 4 U" although she may be saving it for Rodrigo's show. It is always tricky to perform first and warm up a sea of people, but Humberstone did so with style and grace.
After a set change, it was time for Ulven to enter the room with a young, punk backing band. Her energy was infectious as she whipped her hair around and wailed "You Stupid Bitch." Possibly one of the best coming out songs ever "Girls" came after "Body and Mind" and hammered home the point that she was definitely talking about girls, not boys for anyone confused about her identity.
This talented Norwegian kept things very casual with her banter on the microphone but rambled a bit at times. She mentioned plans for visiting The Bean in Millenium Park and asked fans if they still watched music videos helping her to decide to make one for the charming single "hornylovesickmess." She crowd-surfed after "Seratonin" and eventually closed with the track "I wanna be your girlfriend." Overall, it was a solid and tight set that showed maturity with the indie material well beyond her years.
Both of these acts have bright futures ahead of them with Humberstone opening for the second half of the massive Olivia Rodrigo Sour Tour and girl in red will be returning to Chicago this summer as part of the lineup for the music festival Lollapalooza.
Lucky ticketholders had this rare chance to see them play in an intimate venue before they go on to bigger things. This was certainly a dynamic way to hear strong songwriting about mental health during Women's History Month in the Windy City!
Follow them both on worldinred.com and HollyHumberstone.com with links to their social media.