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  • Writer's pictureKaralynn Cromack

Andy Shauf and Lutalo at The Space

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a concert at The Space in Evanston, thanks to an old friend. 

The intimate, low-lit blue scene was populated by small chairs, tables, and standing room. We went to see indie acts Andy Shauf and Lutalo, who both opted for an acoustic set. The combination of the quiet space and humble performers made for such a standout experience. 

It’s also important to note that these artists I wasn’t familiar with in a deep sense. A couple of songs from Shauf are sprinkled into my playlists, but I had no clue what the set would entail. 

Opener Lutalo had a brief introduction and dove into their set, which was nothing sort of captivating. Among the tunes played I had a particular fondness towards their song “Push Back Baby,” and another unreleased melody about growing up after the 2008 recession. Lutalo has a special hand in storytelling. With a rhythmic rich tone adjacent to speaking poetry, they used full guitar melodies and riffs to set the scene. This is the first time where I can say an instrument did more of the talking, and I enjoyed it, but lush lyricism accompanied each track to add yin to yang. 

Afterward, Andy Shauf took the stage under a red haze god light to contrast the deep blue. Where his opener's voice was low and steady, Andy’s vocals were breathy and full of movement. I was pleasantly surprised at how the artist, who is usually accompanied by an array of orchestral or thematic instruments, was able to successfully strip back the sound while keeping the same effect. Shauf’s music is just as immersed in storytelling, which is shown in his album The Party, which depicts many familiar scenes. If you’re looking to listen to a song or two, I would highly recommend “The Magician” or “Martha Sways,” which left me full of chills hearing live. An appropriate adjective to describe his sound is looming.  It’s something similar to the odd comfort of getting used to a time loop. 

Of course, I couldn’t take in the full experience without turning to the audience around me. Evidently, while these artists, Shauf especially, are relatively small, many watchers look on with loving familiarity. This was the set where you stay quiet and let the star shine, but I could easily catch glimpses of those sitting clutching hands to their chests while mouthing each lyric. Some fans up front were even family and friends of those performing. They caught flares of the red and blue light across their faces, and I couldn’t help but hold the moment deep within me for later. 

Overall, I would highly recommend the space for slow, somber music and artists you hold dear. Or maybe to go somewhere full of sentimental treasure in general. 

song previews below the image

Songs mentioned:



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