Photo by Michael Yebra
Review by Anais Turiello
Walking down the staircase and onto the stage, adorned in purple and blue light, the four members of Hunny file onto the stage led on by an uproar of cheering fans, building with anticipation. It’s the night before Halloween and the crowd is decorated in a variety of costumes–readier than ever for the show. The band themselves have on their own costumes as they flow out with bunny ears, a feathered angel’s halo, and dog ears. Without hesitation or introduction, they begin with their hit song “Shy” and the crowd instantly breaks out in a mosh pit. They had been waiting all day and night for this set to begin and no one was going to waste a single minute. The dancing, singing, and shouting were instant.
The second song they play is from their latest record “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” and it’s a very fitting choice. As they play “Halloween,” the lead singer, Jason, changes the lyrics from “And I just remembered it was Halloween” to “And I just remembered it was the night before Halloween” to make it an even more clever fit. This excites the audience even more, who are still jumping around the center tirelessly. As the band moves through the setlist, there isn’t a single lyric that the audience doesn’t know. The show has been sold out for months and each person there seemed to be a hardcore fan–there with absolute intent. I can say myself that I was one of those people.
Being a fan of Hunny since the release of their first EP, Pain / Ache / Loving, during my sophomore year of high school, this show was a nostalgic experience for me. I didn’t expect them to blend their old songs with their newer works. However, as soon as I heard the opening chords to “La Belle Femme,” a song off Pain / Ache / Loving, I knew this wouldn’t be the case. It felt as though I had entered a time machine and was 16 again, back to dancing to the same song just in a different venue (and with a 21+ wristband). I could tell that many others there felt the same way, as the floor shook beneath my feet. I figured after sprinkling in that one old song, they would stop there, but they played all but one song off that classic EP. The setlist was a perfectly tailored blend of old and new, catering to long-time fans as well as brand new fans.
The lead singer, Jason exclaimed to the audience that the band had been looking forward to the Chicago show for the entire tour. I will say, our energy was unmatched. Having family from here, he expressed his special connection with the city, making the performance an even more intimate experience. This was evident by the Chicago Bulls tank top he debuted from underneath his hoodie earlier in the show, which he made sure to draw extra attention to. As he got close to the screaming crowd, holding their hands and singing with them (vaccination was required for entry), I was reminded of a time in the height of the pandemic when this was something we could only dream of–something we yearned for every day. It made me even more grateful to be a part of it.