The Backseat Lovers on the ‘Waiting to Spill’ Tour

Phalen Hessenberger, IV Leader Staff Writer

Fans were lined up around the Riviera Theatre hours before the show, waiting to get inside. As the crowd shuffled in, they lined up to buy merch and drinks before making their way into the theatre to get as close as they could to the stage. 

The Backseat Lovers are a talented indie-rock quartet who began recording together in 2018. I began listening to this group when I discovered their album titled “When We Were Friends.” This album was released in 2019 and holds songs that the group is most recognized for such as “Kilby Girl.”

Two years later The Backseat Lovers return with their sophomore album “Waiting to Spill.” I waited in anticipation for the album after the single “Growing/Dying” was released. On Oct. 28, 2022, “Waiting to Spill” was released and I along with many other fans fell in love with the album.

When the tour was being promoted in September my friend and I knew we had to go see them live. On Nov. 10 we arrived in Chicago in anticipation of seeing one of our favorite bands perform. 

We saw the line wrapped around the building hours before the doors were going to open so we got drinks at the Fat Cat, a restaurant/bar that is only a block away from the Riviera. I would highly recommend this place: the bartenders were very nice and the bar had a great atmosphere.

Closer to 7 o’clock, we closed our tab and headed outside to see if the line was beginning to move, and it had. We got in line and talked to those waiting around us as we made our way inside. We got drinks and walked around the theatre for a bit before making our way to the floor. The floor was all general admission and there were balcony seats above. 

When we got to the floor, we realized that it was already packed and it was hard for us to see the stage. We decided to go on a platform behind the sound producers so we could get a better view. 

Bendigo Fletcher joined the stage as the opener and the crowd cheered. I was unfamiliar with his music but thought he had a great performance. The crowd in front of us was tightly packed but from the middle of the platform we stood on, we had plenty of room to dance around. When The Backseat Lovers came out we did exactly that, danced around, to their entire set. 

There was someone who had passed out when The Backseat Lovers joined the stage and they got help immediately. As the one who passed out was being carried out, I heard someone behind me say, “that is the third person to pass out.” I had only seen one but it was handled quickly and everyone seemed to make sure to take care of those around them.

The set was amazing and it was beautiful to hear this music that I had felt a connection with for such a long time being sung live in front of my eyes. They played a lot from their newest album but also mixed in older songs.

When we thought they were done they came out for an encore to wrap up the night. The perfect end to an amazing night full of my favorite songs.