Courtney Barnett is redefining what it means to be a rock star

Courtney Barnett performs as part of Elemental Nights at Auckland Town Hall on July 25, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Dave Simpson/WireImage) (Dave Simpson, 2021 Dave Simpson)

If you ever had a doubt, and wondered about whether rock ‘n’ roll was a dying genre, go to a Courtney Barnett show.

She’ll prove you wrong.

Barnett has been on the indie rock scene since 2013, but she really took off in 2015 with the release of her debut album “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.” Barnett’s stream-of-conscious-style lyrics, mixed with her guitar-heavy sound that always comes off a little sour, cemented her with critics and fans alike.

Barnett tells stories in her songs, with all her anxieties and flaws coming out in the lyrics like word vomit, making her relatable to her fellow millennial. She literally has a song about wanting to go to a party but also wanting to stay home and watch TV all night. It’s the quintessential millennial dilemma.

Her fantastic debut even landed her a Best New Artist nomination at the 2016 Grammy awards, and a musical guest spot on an episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

Two more albums later and with tons of other collaborations, Barnett is back on the road, touring the United States and shredding faces with her left-handed guitar along the way.

Barnett made a stop at the Cathedral Theater inside the Masonic Temple in Detroit on her tour, and she let audience members know they were in for a treat from the opening bars of the first song.

Barnett mostly played songs from her excellent new album, “Things Take Time, Take Time,” but sprinkled in some past hits to please the people who are fans of her earlier work.

One of her first songs, “Avant Gardener,” really got the room moving and shaking as Barnett added in guitar solos with distorted sounds. Another highlight was when she played “Depreston” from her first album.

The song is about house hunting in the suburbs, and wondering about the people who are selling the house and what their lives are like. Anyone who has looked at potential houses does this all the time, but it’s the genius of Barnett who turns it into a melancholy song about growing up.

Besides from her unreal guitar playing, Barnett is just so naturally charismatic as she chats with the crowd between songs.

She wished all the cat-owners in the crowd well, word-vomited a story about how she dreamt she covered an Eminem song with her opening act the night before, as well as sprinkling in other fun and quirky asides and quips.

Add in her Australian accent, and fans could have stayed and listened to her all night.

If you get the opportunity to see Barnett on this tour, or in the future, you must go.

Not only will you experience a great show, but you’ll start to believe that rock ‘n’ roll is far from dead.

Click or tap here to see Barnett’s current tour dates.

About the Author:

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.