90’s rock band Semisonic returns to Chicago on a co-headlining tour with two new singles

By Addison Annis, Photojournalist

Fans of 90’s rock band Semisonic cheered as the band took the stage at Huntington Bank Pavillion. Opening for the Barenaked Ladies on their “Last Summer on Earth Tour,” the show marked the band’s first Chicago appearance in over 20 years.

Concertgoer Sean Lambert last saw Semisonic in 2001 during their “All About Chemistry” tour.

“They’re one of my all-time favorite bands,” Lambert said. “My sister and I both love them. That’s the only reason we’re here.”

The Minneapolis rock trio formed in 1995, and includes members Dan Wilson on guitar and lead vocals, John Munson on bass and Jacob Slichter on drums.

Semisonic kicked the night off with their song “F.N.T.” from their 1996 debut album “Great Divide.”

The band performed a total of 10 songs, including a cover of Outkast’s hit “Hey Ya!” For the band’s fourth song, “DND,” Dan Wilson disclosed that though the song is not about Dungeons and Dragons, he still respects the game and its fans, adding, “those are my peeps.”

“[My favorite song] is from their 2020 newly released songs called ‘Basement Tapes,'” said Jing Jing Munson, daughter of Semisonic’s bass guitarist. “We were sad to hear it wasn’t on the setlist tonight, but we made up for it on the car ride down.”

Outside of Semisonic, Wilson has made a name for himself as a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer, working with artists such as Mitski, Taylor Swift and Leon Bridges; one of Wilson’s most-known awards is from his co-writing and production work on Adele’s “21” album.

“Dan Wilson is probably the greatest songwriter of our generation,” Lambert said.

One of the songs Wilson wrote for Semisonic was “Closing Time,” which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Song in 1999.

“[My husband and I] met waiting tables 25 years ago, and ‘Closing Time’ was hugely popular,” said crowd member Jaime Rickerson, explaining that Semisonic played a memorable part in her and her husband’s marriage.

As the numbers show, “Closing Time” served as an anthem for people all over the country when it hit the charts in the 90’s. Even today the song can resonate with all generations. “I’m sure our kids could come here, they’re 20 and 18 right now, and could sing along,” Rickerson said.

Semisonic played their hit song “Closing Time” last, and had the entire audience at the Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on their feet dancing and sing-shouting along.