by Haylee Miller // Instagram @hayleemmiller
The Chicago-native band, Whitney, made their debut in Charleston on Friday, February 7, 2020 to play a show at the Music Farm. Personally, I’ve thought for a while that the Farm would be a fitting venue for the band in terms of size and their fanbase here in town. I was super pumped when they announced the dates for their tour, Forever Turned Around.
A girl-band from Japan called Chai opened the night with their punk rock dance music. This was unexpected and truly a sight to see. All four members of Chai are extremely talented musicians and I love that they are an all-girl band but their music was not particularly my taste. With that being said, Chai and Whitney made for a dynamic mix of music for the show, which I respected.
Whitney was formed in 2015 by lead guitarist, Max Kakacek and lead vocalist/drummer, Julien Ehrlich after the breakup of their previous band, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. In 2016, Whitney’s first full length album Light Upon the Lake was released followed by their first headlining tour in Europe. Later, the album Forever Turned Around was released in 2019. In January of 2020, Whitney embarked on a North American tour titled after their latest album.
The band played fan favorites like No Woman and Dave’s Song from their first album Light Upon the Lake as well as songs from their 2019 record, Forever Turned Around. They also performed one of my personal favorites, Valleys (My Love). The atmosphere during Whitney’s set was laid-back and chill, complementing their beloved indie folk sound. There was a lot of subtle head bopping, swaying, and singing along going on.
The show was close to being sold out with a primarily college-aged audience. The Music Farm was the perfect venue to host Whitney, as I predicted. Small enough to create an intimate setting that matched the music but big enough to allow room for a good-sized crowd.
Coming from a huge fan’s perspective, Whitney did not disappoint. From Julien’s stellar falsetto vocals to Max’s catchy and well executed guitar riffs, the show was nothing less than incredible. I would love for them to make it back to Charleston on their next tour but I’d also be willing to travel outside of the lowcountry just to attend another one of their shows.
Well done, Whitney.
Haylee Miller is a junior at the College of Charleston studying Arts Management with a Music Industry concentration. Haylee has been an avid concert-goer for years and hopes to work in the music venue industry after graduation.