Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Jeremy Zucker woos fans with emotional, vulnerable ballads in Vic Theatre

Jay Dugar/The Daily Northwestern
Indie-pop singer-songwriter Jeremy Zucker encapsulated fans with introspective ballads at the Vic Theatre for his “is nothing sacred?” tour Tuesday.

Singer-songwriter Jeremy Zucker captivated fans with an emotional performance at Chicago’s Vic Theatre Tuesday in the latest stop of his “is nothing sacred?” tour.

A last-minute venue change did not take away from the atmosphere as fans filled the gold-trimmed intimate venue.

The lights dimmed earlier than expected, silently introducing indie artist Kevin Atwater and his acoustic guitar right as fans were settling in. His sweet, melodic ballads were on brand with the soft boy image he pushes online.

Atwater’s performance was offset by a quick turnover from pop princess Tiffany Day. Day brought the energy up, dancing around the stage, engaging with the audience and incorporating EDM-style beats into her set.

I was surprised the two openers were paired with each other considering their differing genres and energy levels, but they seemed to be well-received by the crowd.

The blinking of the stage lights signaled the start of a tension-raising light show. A folded screen in the middle of the stage flashed scintillating plumes of blue, while vibrations of the instrumental prompted cheers from fans. The anticipation broke when Zucker finally came out, situating himself on top of a small grassy hill.

Clad in jorts and a matching navy cardigan, the singer seemed in control of the stage, reflected by his calm demeanor and vocals. Zucker started strong with “i need you (in my life)” from his latest EP, leaning into falsetto to deliver the desperation of the song.

Alternating between strong, introspective ballads and energetic, light pop songs, it was clear Zucker had mastered how to draw out emotional highs from fans and hype up the crowd. Even with the groovy and alternative “all the kids are depressed,” Zucker and his band were able to transition seamlessly into a slow and sad “better off.”

A quick switch to red lighting and a drum solo set the stage for crowd-pleaser “somebody loves you.” While more chill in the first verse, tension built up throughout the song, and Zucker featured fans bobbing up and down through a camera connected to the screen.

The unique lighting paired with each song heightened on the experience. The audience became silent when a single light shined on Zucker, accompanied by a keyboard at the edge of the stage. A black and white close-up streamed in the background as he serenaded the crowd with “scared.”

Zucker switched up the flow by telling the audience about dressing up as a skeleton this Halloween and that the next song would be “an inside joke.” I was pleasantly surprised to see Zucker cover “Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers.

On a sentimental note, Zucker got vulnerable while explaining his reason for writing “oh, mexico.” He said that while it may seem like “the grass is greener on the other side,” the song was for everyone who knows it’s not and keeps trying anyway. It was my first time hearing the song, and seeing how open Zucker was with the crowd enhanced the experience.

Finishing the set with “end,” fans weren’t satisfied as they shouted for an encore. Moments later, Zucker returned to the stage with a cheeky, “I didn’t say that was the last song.”

After a guitar lead-in for an acoustic, heart-wrenching “always, i’ll care,” the night ended on a high with the funky, spirited banger “supercuts.”

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Twitter: @rxchelyoon

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