Escaping a ‘Bad Dream’ at Thalia Hall With Indigo De Souza

At Thalia Hall this past Thursday, indie singer Indigo De Souza walked through their vast discography.

Indie singer Indigo De Souza brought fans on a journey to find themselves Feb. 15 at Thalia Hall with a setlist featuring works from across her discography. 

The night began with the opener Mia Joy, a Chicago indie artist who created an ethereal atmosphere through soft vocal delivery while touching on celestial subjects like planets and the moon.

Although alluring, Joy’s performance of “Haha” and “Heaven Forbid” from her debut album “Spirit Tamer” mimicked a generic, bedroom-pop sound. 

Holding an electric guitar marked with a silver lightning bolt, De Souza sauntered onto the stage. Without addressing the crowd, she/they began by playing “All of This Will End” — the titular track from their latest album.

Sunset-hued lighting contrasted with an angry bass in “Time Back,” the second song of the night. 

The indie-rock artist sang of being wronged by someone she used to be close to, hinting at the evolution of her relationships mirrored in her setlist. The inclusion of works spanning her discography provided concertgoers with an understanding of De Souza’s personal growth.

“You’re bad / You suck / You fucked me up / I’m sad / I’m tired / I want my time back,” De Souza screamed.

Indigo De Souza performed their latest album “All of This Will End” at Thalia Hall on Feb. 15. (Bri Guntz / The Phoenix)

The rest of the show was marked by the 26-year-old’s ability to capture a sense of painful nostalgia for a simpler life through her raw tone while commanding the stage.

Growling bass lines and a beat reminiscent of ‘80s punk signaled the beginning of  “Wasting Your Time.” The track, filled with irate lyrics, was echoed by the crowd as De Souza performed.

The artist followed up with “Parking Lot,” which sustained an upbeat sound featuring peppy trumpets. Contrasting with the cheerful sound, the lyrics relay themes of the difficulties in the mundane, including calling in sick to work and sitting alone in parking lots.

“I text my boss and say that I’m not feeling well / And I’m not sure what is wrong with me / But it’s probably just hard to be a person feeling anything,” De Souza sang. 

The crowd’s dancing was cut short as she abruptly shifted into earlier works from her debut album “I Love My Mom.”

“Good Heart” and “Sick in the Head” brought a mellow, youthful sound as De Souza crooned with breathy inflection. 

Halfway through the show, De Souza paused to address the room for the first time. They justified their decision to not explain tracks, explaining it felt “silly.”

Despite her aversion to repeating song introductions, the singer prefaced “You Can Be Mean” with a lyrical explanation that delineated her history of accepting manipulative behavior in a romantic relationship. 

De Souza told fans to learn from her and not date someone who continually treats them poorly.

“It’s better to be alone than to be with an asshole,” De Souza said.

Cued by a wailing guitar and muted drums, De Souza launched into their next song “Bad Dream.” Juxtaposed with their prior message of choosing healthy relationships,“Bad Dream” leans into not knowing how to embrace the change of experiencing a healthy relationship after experiencing toxicity. 

“I don’t think I’m ready for a clean cut kind of love / But I don’t think I have a choice, I’m already gone,” De Souza sings.

Quick snare kicks boomed as the singer moved directly into “Smog.” The crowd erupted in cheers as the pop anthem brought a renewed intensity to the intimate venue.

Pivoting in tone, she continued with “How I Get Myself Killed.” Despite the rhythmic change, the two songs back-to-back didn’t feel jarring. The song maintained a groovy bass which smoothed the transition to some of De Souza’s laidback works.

Beginning without the band, De Souza softly sang the lyrics to “Not My Body” while strumming their guitar. The isolated melody created an intimate feel, inviting fans to sway along entrancingly.

Mia Joy, a Chicago native indie artist, opened for Indigo De Souza and performed “Haha” and “Heaven Forbid.” (Bri Guntz / The Phoenix)

The subdued track stems from De Souza’s love for nature, according to an Instagram post. She sings about being a part of nature, to which her body will eventually return.

“I just wanna be like you / So sure of what to do, so high / I want to be a redwood tree / Feel desert sand below my feet,” De Souza sings.

She preserved the relaxed ambiance while showcasing a seasoned vocal range in “Hold U.” Synths backed De Souza as she sang whistle-like runs in-between lyrics.

Thanking the crowd, De Souza informed fans the next song would be her last. She quickly added that there truly would be no encore.

“I don’t believe in walking off stage and then coming back on,” De Souza explained.

They ended the night with “Kill Me” — the seemingly perfect track to summarize the night of painful love songs.

Featured image by Bri Guntz / The Phoenix

Brianna Guntz

Brianna Guntz