Solo Piano: Dan Layus of Augustana at City Winery Chicago (October 18, 2022)

To begin, Dan Layus takes the stage, bows, and sits down at the piano. He then goes on to play about four songs from his latest album, Everyday an Eternity: Solo Piano Works. He doesn’t say anything to audience before or in between the songs. It has everyone wondering if he will speak at all. Finally, after the last one, he says hello to the audience. He says that was the first time he played those songs for a crowd. They sounded great and are definitely audience ready, but a short introduction to them would be better than none.

Layus also plays some songs from his other album that came out this year, “Yourself Yesterday: A Rarities Collection”. One of these is “Looking for the Door”.

Later on he plays “Fire”. Layus only recently learned that this song almost didn’t make it on the album because the producer and the label didn’t think it fit in well. This album, Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt (2008) hit #2 on the charts. Tonight, he is playing his old songs a bit slower and quieter than usual, which makes them fit in nicely with his solo piano songs.

Dan says they decided to make their third album self-titled because it really felt like who the band really is. This self titled album (2011) also hit #1 on the Billboards chart for Top Independent Albums. He plays the opening track from this album, “Steal Your Heart”. It sounds a lot different in this slower solo version, but still solid.

“Oh, and I forgot this one” he says as begins the closer, his biggest hit, “Boston”. This single from 2005, hit #10 on the Adult Top 40. The audience is delighted as they sing along. “She said I think I’ll go to Boston / I think I’ll start a new life / I think I’ll start it over / Where no one knows my name”.

“See you next year!” he says as he exits the stage.

Cost of a ticket: $25 to $35

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney


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