Courtney Barnett declared next Bob Dylan, remains humble at Riviera Theater


Claire Postelli

Courtney Barnett, rock-n-roll’s sweetheart, played the Riviera Theater in Chicago on April 28th. The Star-Telegram writes that shehas had the weight of the rock world thrust on her slim shoulders in the last few months. Various media, from the New York Post to Salon, have declared her the next Bob Dylan while the Wall Street Journal hailed her as ‘a fairy tale blend of a young Lucinda Williams and PJ Harvey.’”

A multimedia experience, Barnett was backed up with artwork that looked like a lava-lamp turned 80s. The set showed just how much thought had been put into this tour. Her album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, shows a duality that is extremely present in her live performance — whether you’re thinking about the meaning of each song of just bouncin’ to the beat, her performance is enjoyable on multiple levels.

The most well received songs were her singles “Pedestrian at Best” and “Depreston.” Her newly popular hit, plays on repeat on XM stations like Alt-Nation, “Nobody Really Cares if You Don’t Go to the Party” repeats “I wanna go out, but I wanna stay home.” The people I was with both laughed out a “same.” The crowd, although mixed in ages, was enthusiastically pushing and nudging. However, as someone who has seen Barnett three times, this crowd was definitely the tamest thus far.

With so much pressure on the young Australian native to be the next great, she remains humble. Her stage presence was that of an artist there for the art. Every concert I see of her, she visibly grows as a performer. There’s no doubt that she will continue to expand as her career presses forward.