Joshua Radin sings to his alma mater

Alexandra Finkel

For singer-songwriter Joshua Radin, Sunday night was surreal. As the Northwestern alumnus (Communication ’96) stood on the Pick-Staiger Concert Hall stage, he said he was reminded of his New Student Week 12 years ago.

“I feel like I’m hyponotherapist Tom Deluca,” Radin said. “That’s the only other time I’ve been in this room, actually. There was this girl that I met on the first day of school during New Student Week. She was so conservative and he made her get up here and dirty dance.”

Radin performed for a crowd of about 700. His two-hour set featured songs from his second album “Simple Times,” as well as new songs he had yet to teach his band.

The night culminated in a question-and-answer session where he was asked everything from his major at NU to what type of girls he liked.

Self-proclaimed “superfan” Rachel Pologe arrived at Pick-Staiger an hour before Radin was scheduled to perform. Pologe has listened to his music since 2005 when she heard his music on “Scrubs.”

“His music is so beautiful,” the Communication freshman said. “His whole sound is very haunting and personal.”

A&O Productions Director of Concerts Forrest Wickman said Radin’s performance went beyond his expectations.

“He connected well with the audience and talked about what students wanted to hear,” the Weinberg senior said. “And we always like to have shows in Pick-Staiger because the acoustics are great.”

Throughout the night, Radin told stories about his life as an undergraduate at NU, including his favorite classes and professors, his job at the Noyes Street Café and living in Bobb Hall.

Studying communication and visual art, Radin was not active at the music scene at NU.

“A lot of my friends in college were musicians, and I didn’t play anything,” he said.

Weinberg sophomore Lauren Kahn said she especially enjoyed his anecdotes.

“I thought it was really cool how he was really connecting during the performance,” Kahn said. “There was a real dynamic between him and the audience.”

Radin often spoke about how his relationships influenced his music. The first song he wrote was about a girl he met at NU and dated for nearly six years, he said.

“After five years, things started to go sour and that’s when I started writing songs,” he said. “I wanted to let her know how I felt because I was too scared to tell her.”

During the Q&A, Pologe gave Radin a letter she and her friend wrote about how much they liked his music.

After the show, Pologe attended a meet and greet in Norris University Center for students who purchased merchandise. Although she will attend Radin’s sold-out performance Tuesday at the Park West in Chicago, she said she is happy she went on Sunday.

“I could tell that he could see me because when I was singing along he was smiling at me so that was really exciting,” she said. “It was a very personal connection because I was six feet away from him and it was like he was singing to me.”

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