To celebrate my birthday on St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to buy one ticket. Yes just one…for me alone. I had fallen in love with the Australian band The Paper Kites just last November. I was looking for a show to catch in Chicago for the last week of the month and saw that they would be playing at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. 
I looked them up in Spotify (and eventually bought their albums) and was immediately drawn into their lyrics and music. On a cold November night, their songs can draw up so much emotion and feelings, especially for me. Alas, I did not get to watch them and had regretted it, so when I found out they were coming back to Chicago to open for Passenger, I knew I could not miss this opportunity.

It ended up being a sold out show at The Riviera Theatre and there was a line out the door to get inside. Once in, I headed straight to the merch booth and got The Paper Kites shirt. I found a spot on the left and waited an hour before they got on stage. And you know that magical feeling you get when your favorite band just begins and you hear the first few strums and beats? I had that feeling.

There set was short at about a half hour but I was happy to take in what I could get. They performed songs from their newest album Twelvefour as well as “Bloom” from their Woodland EP. 

Passenger headlined and performed a list of his songs from his newest release Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea as well as previous music which included his more well-known release “Let Her Go”. He shared a few stories too which kept the audience entertained. 

At the end of the night, I waited to meet The Paper Kites by the merch area with other fans. Soon enough I introduced myself to Sam Bentley (vocals/guitar) and Josh Bentley (drums), and then was joined by Sam Rasmussen (bass). I told them how I went to the show specifically to see them and asked if they could autograph my shirt. I also informed them it was my birthday and received a happy birthday greeting. When Sam B. asked how old I was, I replied, “You don’t want to know.” Which Sam R. then chimed in with “19” and I jokingly said, “That sounds about right.” They happily obliged with a birthday photo with them. My shirt had been passed on to David Powys (vocals/guitar) who I only spoke to briefly and had a photo taken with him as well. Christina Lacy (vocals/guitar/keyboards) was not there, but I am sure she had good reasons.

It was an unforgettable evening and birthday. I hope The Paper Kites come back to Chicago to headline a show, which I will not miss.

You can find both The Paper Kites and Passenger on Spotify and iTunes. 

The Paper Kites
Sam Rasmussen, Sam Bentley and Josh Bentley join me in a birthday photo
With David Powys
Passenger