Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s 2024 Salt Shed Performance in Photos

Music Features Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s 2024 Salt Shed Performance in Photos

This past Thursday, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit put on a wondrous show at the Salt Shed in Chicago. Last summer, the band released their critically-acclaimed album, Weathervanes, which won two Grammy Awards last month (Best American Roots Song and Best Americana Album). Last June, we deemed Weathervanes our Album of the Week, scoring it an 8.2 out of 10. Critic Ellen Johnson wrote that “every song [Isbell] releases into the world is worth listening to, a reminder that he, too, is working at the highest standard of excellence. No matter what is happening in his life—addiction, loss, romance, marriage, family—not to mention what’s happening in humanity on a wider scale, Isbell finds a way to distill it all into melodies worthy of a national title.”

In December 2023, Paste named Jason Isbell its Artist of the Year with a long-form profile celebrating the musician’s accomplishments—including Weathervanes, the 10th anniversary of Southeastern and his role in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. “Isbell has always been transparent about his failures—particularly his sobriety and what life before that was like for him and the people in his orbit,” editor Mat Mitchell wrote. “As a sober person, I’m constantly trying to better understand how my own art shifts between the days when I was a student in high school or in college doing drugs versus now, when I’m a drug-free and employed adult.

“On Weathervanes, we find Isbell remaining immune to pandering, as he writes about familial, generational trauma (“Cast Iron Skillet”), school shootings (“Save the World”), abortion (“White Beretta”) and interloping in hometowns (“Volunteer”) with grace and affection. Though his clarity continues to grow with every passing year that he’s alcohol-free, writing about violence, disparity—and loss and the people in the world around you—in an empathetic and honest way is still hard even as he’s taken that step within himself, too.”

You can see pictures from Isbell and the 400 Unit’s February 29th Salt Shed performance in Chicago, taken by Josh Druding, below. The band’s tour of North America continues throughout the summer.

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