Indigo De Souza lays her heart on her sleeve at Thalia Hall


Elisa Huang/The Daily Northwestern

Indigo De Souza performed at Thalia Hall on May 18.

MJ Gudiño, Reporter

North Carolina native Indigo De Souza played at Thalia Hall in Chicago Thursday night to promote her latest album, “All of This Will End,” released April 28.

Indie folk three-piece Sluice opened for De Souza, bringing their? shared North Carolinian heritage to the stage. Before the group’s last song, De Souza took to the stage and encouraged the audience to listen more closely. 

“It breaks my heart to watch people talking over the people I care about,” she said, addressing those having conversations at the venue’s bar in the back.

As De Souza and her bandmates walked onstage and prepared to perform, the song “Are You Having Any Fun?” by Elaine Stritch played in the background, highlighting De Souza’s playful nature and ironic sense of humor. 

The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter kicked off her show with the track “How I Get Myself Killed” –– inspired by the process of aging –– from her 2018 debut album, “I Love My Mom.” Its lyrics, “Come when you’re called / If this is all we’ve got to work with then it’s all we’ve got to blame,” are directed towards the past and current versions of herself. 

The care and emotion De Souza showed to her openers became exceedingly clear in her performance; her voice during the set was full of hurt and love as she sang about her deeply personal experiences.

The second song of her set, “You Can Be Mean,” featured the lyrics, “You know what you did / You know what you took from me / It makes me sick to think about that night,” a piece De Souza wrote about an abusive relationship. 

Violinist Libby Rodenbough, drummer Avery Sullivan, bassist Landon George and guitarist Dexter Webb accompanied her onstage throughout the performance. The whining melodies of Rodenbough’s blue electric violin were hauntingly gorgeous in their accompaniment of De Souza’s expressive singing style that often included emotive and throaty vocalizations.

In the middle of her set, she paused and addressed the audience with a whispered “Thank you,” posing the question, “You gotta get it out somehow, you know what I mean? How do you guys get it out?” De Souza, the only writer on her 2023 album, said she practices self-acceptance and processes her emotions through song.

The energy of the crowd was overwhelmingly positive, as audience members danced and jumped. De Souza’s comforting and candid demeanor created a lovely energy in the performance hall as criss-crossing streams of light in complementary colors illuminated the stage.

De Souza closed her show with an encore of “Real Pain” from her 2021 album, “Any Shape You Take.” A song about heartbreak and grief, “Real Pain” ended the show on an emotional note and included an audio collage of screams sent in by fans.

With raw and achingly honest lyricism, De Souza’s music served as a safe space for listeners, and singing along to her songs provided an emotional release. As De Souza’s audience showed, there are few experiences more liberating than screaming your heart out.

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