Graham and I were able to hear our favorite duo, Johnnyswim, in Evanston last week. Their music is special to us: Amanda and Abner sing our wedding song, “Take the World.”
We had never been to Evanston, so when we stepped out of the train station we were pleasantly surprised by the different vibe it gives off vs. Chicago. It was a short walk to the Space, which didn’t appear to be a concert venue from the outside. The building says Union/Space outside; Union is the name of the restaurant in the front. We walked in and saw a long hallway with a few people waiting in line. Autographed band posters hang on one wall, and other is an exposed-brick wall.
We had arrived an hour and half early because we had standing-room only tickets and I wanted to get a good spot. When we walked inside, we saw that the Space also has tables that can be reserved. Sadly, these tables must have been sold out when I bought our tickets. We were told we could stand along the bar area or in the back behind the tables and seats. We picked a spot at the end of the bar so I could see; my height tends to be an issue at concerts. It was convenient because we didn’t have to move to get our drinks. I sipped on a Herbie Hancock, which the server described as magical. Her description is accurate; it’s a delicious mix of white rum, Falernum and watermelon.
As 8 p.m. approached, the Space filled up. We had only a couple of minutes before the show when a couple came to the end of the bar and stood right in front of me, in an area the servers had been using to access the bar. I gave Graham a worried look. He asked a server whether the couple’s spot was legit, and she said, “Absolutely not. If they still stand there when the show starts I’ll say something.” I was relieved. The couple ended up moving on their own to a spot to the right of us that didn’t block my view. I mention the couple because I find it appalling that it wouldn’t even occur to people that someone might have been waiting for hours when they block the person’s view. If you want to see your favorite artists from a good spot, arrive early.
Then the show began. I was emotional throughout most of the show because 1. I am a baby and 2. Their songs really hit home. (Specifically the song “Home” and “Diamonds.”) I nearly cried when they played “Take the World.” Abner said the Space is his favorite place to play. I can see why. It’s intimate and relaxed, and the music sounded great. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. At one point, Abner and Amanda came out into the crowd to sing.
I didn’t want the night to end,