Sharon Van Etten’s Wild Hearts Tour hits Berkeley’s Greek Theatre

“I went to The Wild Hearts Tour and all I got was emotional.” This is a phrase seen on tote bags throughout the night of July 30th at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA. The Wild Hearts Tour brings together indie folk rock artists Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten, Julien Baker and Quinn Christopherson, alongside their respective bands. Kicking off the show at 7pm was Alaskan singer-songwriter Quinn Christopherson, with support on acoustic guitar from Gracie Gray from Los Angeles. Many fans showed up early to hear Quinn’s storytelling — the most on the tour so far according to Christopherson. Quinn played songs “Bubblegum”, new releases “Celine”,”Evelene”, “Loaded Gun”, “2005” and closed out his set with “Thanks”. 

Julien Baker was next to open, with “Sprained Ankle”, “Bloodshot” and “Shadowboxing”.

Unlike Julien’s last set here at The Greek Theatre as the surprise opener for Phoebe Bridgers, this was a full band set, sounding just like the newest album release, Little Oblivions. This was my third time catching Julien Baker within the span of a year and, boy, she does not disappoint. Something about her honest lyrics and the sincerity in her voice in which she delivers them never fails to make me an emotional wreck. Baker’s set consisted of mostly songs off the newer album, which helped showcase her band, including “Favor”, “Relative Fiction”, “Highlight Reel”, “Heatwave”, “Ringside”, “Faith Healer”, “Hardline” and, last, but not least, “Ziptie”.

Following a short break, Sharon Van Etten surprised the audience by playing next, rather than last. Sharon came out in a sparkly sequined top — similar to the sequin dress she rocked at Outside Lands last October — and opened with “Headspace”, “Comeback Kid” and “No One’s Easy to Love”. Sharon Van Etten is a rockstar of a performer, with amazing chemistry with not only her band, but also her audience. Van Etten owns every inch of the stage, with the prowess and confidence you’d expect of a veteran rockstar from back in the 80s. Fresh off the release of her new album We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong, Van Etten told the audience that the album was written about how times have changed so much — it almost feels like the end of the world. The album is very dark, but does have its brighter moments, like with the song “Mistakes”. Other tracks the band played were as follows: “Anything”, “Come Back”, “Save Yourself”, “Every Time The Sun Comes Up”, “Born”, “Darkish” (with just Sharon on acoustic guitar), “Mistakes” and, last, “Seventeen”.

The grand finale was Angel Olsen, who dressed in red from head to toe with a red cowboy hat to match.

Olsen had a much more laidback country feel and sang her songs at the mic with guitar in hand. Olsen’s set opened with “Dream Thing”, “Big Time”, “Ghost On”, “Right Now”, “Shut Up Kiss Me”, “All Mirrors”, “Go Home”, “All The Good Times” and “Chance”. Finally, it was the moment the crowd was all waiting for when Sharon Van Etten joined Angel Olsen onstage to sing their hit song collaboration of “Like I Used To” in the encore, as well as a Harry Nilsson cover of “Without You” to close out the night. All in all, the tote bag was right: this tour of some of the best indie singer-songwriters in the game, all of whom definitely made me emotional. If you like sad love songs and feeling all the feels, this is the tour for you. The Wild Hearts tour is still going strong at all outdoor venues to help concert-goers feel safe against COVID. Don’t miss out and grab a ticket if the tour is coming to a city near you!

Photography by Katey Schoenberger

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