Courtney Barnett Live at Riviera Theatre

On Thursday April 28, Courtney Barnett brought her A-game to a sold out show at the Riviera Theater. With the Nashville-based band Bully to open this show, fans were in for a treat and I had a front-row experience of the magic. 

Going into the concert, I didn’t know what to expect or how she was going to play her songs with a trio, Courtney on guitar, Dave Mudie on drums, and Bones Sloane on bass. Although the majority of her songs feature a piano part and a second guitar part, fans at the show didn’t miss much as she used her unique playing style to add volume and depth in her live performance.

With a catalog totally just 28 different songs, Courtney and her band powered through a riveting 16-song set. Kicking off the show with a fan favorite “Dead Fox“, she immediately hooked the fans into a fun night full of dancing a singing along to her witty lyrics.

Throughout the rest of her set, she played songs like the pop-sounding “Debbie Downer”, to the slow, yet beautifully written story-turned-song “Deprestion”, to the head-banging single “Pedestrian at Best”. She also included a new tune, which is an ode to ramen noodles: “Three Packs a Day”. 

To finish a night that I wish never ended, Courtney and her band came out for a two-song encore. The first song coming from her A Milk! Records Compilation: “Pickles in a Jar”. This is a lesser known song among fans, but the Footloose sounding tune was enough to get the packed venue twistin’ and grovin’. Fans weren’t going to be leaving without hearing “Avant Gardner”a story of an asthma attack.

From a very psychedelic backdrop/lighting throughout the show, to a singing along and dancing crowd, to a rocking performance by Courtney Barnett and her trio, they did a good job of warming up the city of Chicago on a chilly and rainy night. As someone who goes to concerts all the time, this was by far one of the best shows I have been to.


  • Dead Fox
  • Scotty Says
  • Debbie Downer
  • An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)
  • Out of the Woodwork
  • Small Poppies
  • Deprestion
  • Three Packs a Day
  • Pedestrian at Best
  • Are You Looking After Yourself?
  • Lance Jr.
  • Elevator Operator
  • Kim’s Caravan
  • Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party


  • Pickles From the Jar
  • Avant Gardner

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