Farewell to Joan Baez

Zoe Ruetsche, Staff Photographer

Folk legend Joan Baez’s farewell show to the city of Chicago was nothing short of extraordinary. At the age of 77, the singer-songwriter’s famous vibrato has aged gracefully and is paired well with the frequent commentary made in between songs. While she dove straight into her better-known tracks, Baez fully introduced her less familiar ones, providing essential context to themes spanning from her own childhood to borrowed stories of deportation, racism, and general violence.

Nearing the end of the concert, Baez and her backing band all took a knee as audio from Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of the National Anthem played – an homage to the controversial Colin Kaepernick protests. Baez is hardly a stranger to making political statements; from once marching directly alongside Martin Luther King Jr. to recently making appearances at Brett Kavanaugh protests, the musician has had no reservations in lending her voice to social issues.

Baez made a wonderful effort to conclude her 60-year career with a two hour show, leaving the audience with the timelessly important message of speaking up for themselves and others.