Performing another sold-out show on his tour, Noah Kahan brought his lyrical folk and pop music to the Egyptian Room at the Old National Centre on Tuesday, February 7.
Kahan has heard many nicknames based on his music style, background, and appearance. On Tuesday, he embodied “Folk Malone” through his short, braided pigtails. The band joined him in wearing all black, creating a sleek onstage look. The raised beds for the keyboard and drums allowed plenty of space for movement. The layout and lighting created a wondrous onstage scene that helped the crowd dive into the performance. The lights and sound were marvelously done, and Noah rightfully thanked his band members and behind-the-scenes crew for helping make his show something spectacular.
Noah Kahan has many dedicated fans. The crowd was full of those who sang along to every song - old and new. One crowd member near the stage brought flowers to share with the artist; Noah exclaimed he had always wanted flowers thrown at him and seemed overjoyed with the gesture.
An impressive singer and songwriter, Kahan’s voice has a melodic tone with fantastic range. He can hit high notes and belt it out with the best of them. Not to mention talented enough to play guitar and dance along to the music alongside his lyrics. He would often rip one of his earpieces out during parts of songs in which he wanted to better hear and connect with his fans. The band members were equally impressive, often switching between instruments and engaging the crowd. One member was praised for dropping out of college to join this tour. As talented as he is, I understand his choice; he rocked out on guitar and banjo, bringing us those classic riffs we all recognize from Kahan’s music.
Noah Kahan has broken into the folk music scene with his title track “Stick Season” of his 2022 album. Originally giving us pop hits like "Mess" and "False Confidence" back in the late 2010s, the 26-year-old musician spent some time back home during the pandemic and wrote an album connecting to his hometown and artists from his childhood. It was in Vermont where he really examined his life and his hometown and brought us what is now the album Stick Season.
Kahan gets intimate with his mental health journey through his lyrics. The song “Growing Sideways” speaks of his personal experience with therapy. As someone who participated in therapy both as a child and now, he could not praise it enough - encouraging everyone in the crowd to take advantage of this important mental health step.
His lyrics are what truly connect the listener to his music. He creates songs that bring you into a scene, making you feel like you are there - and his fans cannot get enough. Any time he stepped away from the microphone, the crowd would fill in his lyrics with no issue. He even forgot a line or two in the song “She Calls Me Back,” and the crowd was able to remind him for the next time the chorus came around.
“Carlo’s Song,” from his 2019 album Busy Head, was a beautiful tribute to a friend he lost years ago. Kahan said he plays this song anywhere he goes, so he gets to bring his friend with him on tour. The lights dimmed around him as he sang alone on stage about keeping his friend alive through his actions. His emotion was so palpable you could feel the hurt in his voice and see the pain on his face. It was the closest I got to tears the entire show, and ended up being my favorite performance of the night.
Noah Kahan is still fairly new to the music scene, but I love everything he has put out so far. I cannot wait to see what he gives us next. If you missed him Tuesday, he is coming back to Indianapolis in September at TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park, so grab your tickets now before they sell out