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  • Payton Eken

FARADA: To Endure with tobi lou

tobi lou, a singer-songwriter from the Chicago area, has embarked on his Perish Blue tour after a prolific year, releasing 2 full albums and 8 singles in 2023 alone. The tour includes stops in 26 cities across the United States and Canada, featuring the opening act grouptherapy., and runs from September 21st to October 29th. The Chicago date of the tour took place on October 16th at the Metro in Wrigleyville.

grouptherapy., a trio made of artists who already have made a name for themselves in the Hollywood sphere, created the group after becoming disillusioned with the film and television industry and wanting a better way to express themselves however they desired (Altidor 2022). Their set lasted about 45 minutes, featuring songs from their latest full-length album, I Was Mature For My Age, But I Was Still A Child. All members of the trio (Jadagrace, SWIM, and TJOnline) took on the role of onstage DJ during the set at different times, and all members rapped and sang their songs.

Jadagrace has many vocal lines yet showcases her unique and graceful flow in songs, including solo raps. Their set explored multiple genres, including rock (“American Psycho”), techno (“Lightspeed ~>”), and trap (“Dysbf!”). All three members showcased their talents through solo raps and vocals and showed how much chemistry they truly have onstage. They kept the crowd energized and entranced throughout, and the hype never died down for a second. grouptherapy. gained many new fans that evening (including myself).

tobi lou’s set started off with a few video intros, combining live action and animation with his music. He started off on the balcony, standing and dancing around with the fans before moving through the crowd onto the stage. The energy in the venue was electric, and tobi made sure to keep the crowd moving throughout his entire set. One of the opening songs, “SOME THINGS” actually had the venue shaking.

tobi lou kept the crowd engaged by speaking to everyone multiple times in between songs. Many times it was just banter, signing shoes, hoodies, and vinyl records between songs. One line that was repeated a few times throughout the show as a call and response was “When I say tobi lou, you say ‘f*ck you!’” Many times, however, tobi got personal with the audience, mentioning he was going to “try to make it through all night without crying because it’s beautiful seeing all y’all in this room.”

As mentioned earlier, tobi is from the Chicago area. He had many friends and family in the crowd, including his cousins, who helped raise him growing up. This was his homecoming show, and the crowd showed up and showed out. In the words of the headliner himself, “I feel like every city on this tour has been a special night... Chicago, y’all are f*cking showing out, and I am proud.”

One fact the audience learned through tobi’s song, performance, and personality onstage overall is that he is genuinely a good guy. He mentions his clothing project "FARADA" and the meaning behind the word in Yoruba: to endure. tobi has the mentality to keep going, and it shows in what he does. He constantly reassures his fans that he wants to show them the music he is making, yet just like everyone else, there are obstacles (physical and mental) to overcome. He also notes the importance of having support, and even if you came alone to the show, "you are not alone when you get here; we are f*cking family.”

The Chicago show had to be cut slightly early due to time constraints, yet he made sure to still play his 2018 hit “Buff Baby” for the crowd. Ending the show to minutes of applause and cheers, tobi did break his promise to himself and shed some (happy) tears at the end. He spent about 15 minutes at the end of the show thanking the crowd, his opening act grouptherapy., his touring team, his family and friends, and just overall being thankful for the experience he has been given.

Leaving the crowd with many words of grace and advice: “Do not wait on anybody to take a chance on you; take a chance on yourself.”

All around, the tobi lou concert was incredible. Both acts who performed captivated the audience in their own unique ways, and their live performing skills are improving with each show. grouptherapy. are still new to the scene, yet they are making their names known. tobi himself had an insane amount of energy that radiated around the entire venue and poured everything into his songs. When he does come back to Chicago, I will be 100% in attendance again.


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