After performing at the main event of Lollapalooza July 31, English artist Cavetown stuck around the city to play a touching aftershow for a more intimate venue the next day.
Taking the stage to shouts of “You saved my life!” “Me too!” “And me too!” from the audience, an odd start time of 11:30 a.m. didn’t stop Skinner, 22, from performing a heartwarming and captivating concert for the crowd at Thalia Hall (1807 S. Allport St.) Aug. 1.
Preceded by talented 17-year-old opener Sydney Rose — who shyly told the audience this performance was her first-ever before playing her five-song set — the three-hour show was filled with many gentle guitar and ukulele songs which felt like a warm hug from a friend.
With guitar backing and vocal style akin to that of Phoebe Bridgers — which proved to be an influence on Rose as she introduced her third song, “Phoebe Told Me” — and the shoutout to Gen Z’s interest in astrology with “I Wish I Was A Libra,” Rose was well received by the constantly supportive crowd, who responded to each of her songs with powerful cheers and kind shouts.
As Skinner took the small stage amid even louder cheering — and wearing a knit yellow crown that stood out against his wavy red hair — he kicked off his set with the single “Ur Gonna Wish U Believed Me” from his 2021 album “Man’s Best Friend.”
He followed up with his hit song “Lemon Boy,” the title track for Skinner’s third album, and the equally upbeat “Feb 14.” The crowd was in a happier groove until the mood change brought on by “Sharpener,” a song highlighting unhealthy coping mechanisms.
The energy picked right back up with “Juliet” and “Fool,” back-to-back songs that had the venue echoing with singing. This momentum kept up as 18-year-old artist Chloe Moriondo joined Skinner on stage to perform a cover of “Teenage Dirtbag,” and then started a play fight on stage which led to chanting from the crowd.
Skinner then dedicated his song “Home” to a cicada he found dead after fighting a bee at Lollapalooza the day before.
“We buried and put a little piece of a veggie chip [there],” he said. “It was quite terrible.”
Afterwards, he performed a group of songs from across his discography. This included the dreamy sounding “Idea of Her” and cute yet catchy “I Want To Meet Ur Dog” from “Man’s Best Friend,” along with the recent TikTok hit “This Is Home” from 2015.
After playing two more fun singalong songs in “Green” and “Sweet Tooth,” Skinner took the time to acknowledge the pandemic and the return of live music. At Thalia Hall, all concertgoers are still required to wear face coverings.
“I missed you, how’ve you been?” Skinner asked an excited crowd. “We made it out the other side, hopefully! Thank you for wearing a mask. I appreciate that.”
The appreciation wasn’t just one-sided, either. Skinner enjoyed receiving a few gifts passed up to the stage from fans including a necklace and a lizard-like stuffed animal he carried around the stage during part of the show.
After playing one more song and choosing not to leave before playing the encore — due to the small size of the venue and the central position of the stage — Skinner began his well-loved hit “Boys Will Be Bugs” with the line “I’m a dumb teen boy, I eat sticks and rocks and mud.”
“Man’s Best Friend” and the rest of Cavetown’s discography is available on Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services.