It’s been over a decade since I first wrote about Ezra Furman. Since then, I’ve said pretty much everything a person could possibly say about an artist they greatly respect and admire. She’s one of the greatest songwriters I’ve ever had the pleasure to hear. She’s one of the fiercest performers I’ve ever seen. And she’s one of the most humble human beings I’ve ever met.
After nearly three years without playing near her hometown in Evanston, Ezra finally was able to bring the band back to Thalia Hall. With it she brought a cathartic evening for the audience, and a great kickoff to Pride Month.
The set was made entirely of songs off her last three albums, except for a couple brand new tracks that feature on her new album due out in August. “Point Me Toward The Real” was already one of my favorites from this year, and “Lilac and Black” is a stunner. I would have liked a couple songs from the first and second albums, but Ezra seems to be moving forward and not looking back.
The songs off Transangelic Exodus hit the hardest. I don’t think any artist conveys the power and solidarity of the LGBTQ+ community as well as Ezra Furman, and being in that crowd you could feel the love and respect flowing mutually between the artist and the audience. Toward the end of the night Ezra stopped to take two pills-estrogen and a testosterone blocker. While thanking the friends and family for coming to the show, she said her parents didn’t know that she was doing hormone replacement therapy, but “I guess they do now.”
It’s that kind of trasparency that makes Ezra such a great conduit for her message. She never shies away from saying something that might anger some people, and she’s willing to fight for what she believes in.
Three years is far too long to go between Ezra Furman shows, so I hope the wait is a bit shorter next time. Based on the songs we’ve heard so far, the new album is going to be another in an ever-growing list of amazing releases. You can pre-order All Of Us Flames from her website.
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