REVIEW: Juliana’s Journey Begins at SPACE

By: Julia Hale
Photo by: Roman Sobus

In the first stop of a national tour, Juliana Hatfield and her band performed at Space in Evanston on Thursday, January 16th. The Chicago-based Sunshine Boys opened the show with an energetic, 11-song set mostly featuring songs from their debut album “Blue Music” as well as their new single “Infinity Girl.” The cheerful trio accompanies Hatfield in six more cities in what she described as an “experimental, unpolished journey.”

Hatfield’s performance was organized in chronological order, beginning with songs from her 1992 debut “Hey Babe,” and including songs from “Become What You Are” (1993), “Only Everything” (1995), “Wild Animals” (2013), “Pussycat” (2017), “Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John” (2018), “Weird” (2019) and “Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police” (2019). The final song of the set was 2017’s emotional “Everything Is Forgiven,” but for the encore the alternative rock veteran returned to her Police covers, performing “Hungry For You” and “Murder by Numbers.”

Throughout the show Hatfield maintained an atmosphere of intimacy and authenticity between herself, the band and the audience, that was only helped by the casual, all-ages venue. She stopped the band a few songs in to start a song over in a different key; “Let’s do it in this key,” she said into the mic as if she were in a regular rehearsal. For some of the more intense guitar verses, Hatfield would drop to her knees, fully engulfed in the music, at one point even laying down on the old living room rug covering the stage, and closing her eyes.

Hatfield’s tour includes 20 cities total as of right now but her website suggests that more dates might be announced. Sunshine Boys will open for Hatfield in Indianapolis, Nashville, Birmingham, St. Paul, Milwaukee and University City.

Set List:

Everybody Loves Me But You
I See You
Feelin’ Massachusetts
My Sister
Bottles and Flowers
Parking Lots
Dog on a Chain
Short-Fingered Man
Sunny Somewhere
Wonder Why
A Little More Love
Lost Ship
Staying In
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Can’t Stand Losing You
Hole in My Life
Everything Is Forgiven

Tour Dates:

1/17/20 – HI-FI; Indianapolis, IN
1/18/20 – The Basement East; Nashville, TN
1/19/20 – WorkPlay; Birmingham, AL
1/21/20 – Granada Theater; Dallas, TX
1/22/20 – 3TEN at Austin City Limits Live; Austin, TX
1/24/20 – Crescent Ballroom; Phoenix, AZ
1/25/20 – Pappy & Harriet’s; Pioneertown, CA
1/27/20 – Echoplex; Los Angeles, CA
1/28/20 – Slim’s; San Francisco, CA
1/30/20 – Doug Fir Lounge; Portland, OR
2/1/20 – Tractor Tavern; Seattle, WA
2/5/20 – Turf Club; St. Paul, MN
2/06/20 – Shank Hall; Milwaukee, WI
2/07/20 – Duck Room; University City, MO
2/10/20 – Rams Head; Annapolis, MD
2/11/20 – Sellersville Theater; Sellersville, PA
2/12/20 – ONCE Ballroom; Somerville, MA
2/13/20 – Parlor Room; Northampton, MA
2/14/20 – Music Hall of Williamsburg; Brooklyn, NY