Wearing a Northwestern crewneck, folk rock singer-songwriter Margaret Glaspy may have looked like a college student as she performed at Saturday's PhilFest. But looks can deceive.
"Did we graduate from college?" Glaspy asked her band in the middle of her headlining set on the Norris East Lawn. "None of us graduated from college. Thanks for having us anyway."
Glaspy played to students for an hour or so as they tie-dyed shirts, painted mason jars or enjoyed the overdue sunlight. For the set – her third this year in the Chicago area after opening for the Lumineers at Allstate Arena and headlining Schubas Tavern – she stuck close to Emotions and Math, her 2016 major-label debut. Garnering comparisons to Liz Phair and Joni Mitchell, Glaspy’s vocals switched between a melodic Southern drawl and her distinctive snarl as she played an electric guitar.
PhilFest is the annual collaboration between A&O Productions and SEED (Students for Ecological and Environmental Development), also co-presented by the Northwestern Community Development Corps. It’s an outdoor folk and bluegrass festival created in honor of Phil Semmer, a SEED member who died while studying abroad in Australia in 2000. The festival allowed students to participate in “hippie” activities and enjoy music on a Saturday afternoon. The Sanctified Grumblers, a folk band from Chicago, started off the festival and opened for Glaspy.