Concert Review: Noah Kahan - Stick Season Tour in Milwaukee
Noah Kahan kicked off his latest tour, Stick Season in the fall of 2022. Noah made many stops touring around the U.S before stopping near me for the 2023 leg of the tour. I had the ultimate privilege of being one of the 4,000 people at his completely sold out show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Miller High Life Theater. You couldn't see an empty seat inside the theater by the time Noah entered the stage. It was good to see him back in Milwaukee, a place he mentioned had been where one of his first performances occurred when he opened for the Strumbellas back in 2017. This time around, Stephan Sanchez supported Noah on the first part of his tour and you can expect Joy Oladokun and Ruston Kelly sharing the stage with him on the upcoming summer tour. Joining him on this second leg of the tour as a supporting act was up and coming artist Jack Van Cleaf. It was my first time listening to him and during the short set opening for Noah, his rich vocals and acoustic guitar captured the audience's attention and set the tone to prepare them for what was to come next. Noah had a small band supporting him on stage playing guitar and drums and besides quite a few guitar changes, there was a minimalist approach to the overall set up that kept the audience focused on Noah center stage throughout. He covered a lot of his discography during the show, which also included a short encore to bring his stage time total to be a little over an hour. One of the many highlights of this concert was when Noah went unplugged to do an acoustic set for two of his songs.
Noah opened his show full of energy with “False Confidence”, a song from his debut album in 2019 before jumping into some of his newer ones. This track was a perfect choice to kick off the show and get everyone moving around me. Noah had a good mix of songs from his recently released album as well as including his popular ones like “Young Blood '', “Passenger”, and “Animal". One song in particular that I was most excited to hear and was highly anticipating was “Growing Sideways”, a song that I feel a personal connection to, and is inspired by Noah’s history with therapy. This happened to be one of the two songs performed acoustic as he opened up about his own life experiences leading into the track. This was followed by “Glue Me Shut" which was also done the same way with just Noah's powerful vocals and acoustic guitar. His stripped back performance had thousands of people holding their breath and listening to every single word. A lot of Noah's songs leave listeners with emotional responses, and hearing them live you could hear it in his voice how much his music means to him as well as everyone in that room. Before exiting the stage for good, Noah performed an encore with a couple songs, which of course included the highly anticipated “Stick Season” being one of them. This is becoming one of those songs where he doesn't even have to sing it because the audience knows every word by heart. Once that recognizable guitar melody began you could hear the crowd as loud as him singing every lyric as he stared back in amazement. Out of the 14 tracks on his “Stick Season” album Noah covered 11 of them during his show. The artist had everyone in the audience on the edge of their seat, and you could hear him so clearly in between the cheers. Noah doesn't need anything special besides his voice and his guitar and this season's tour helped prove that even more.
Noah Kahan (Pronounced Con) is a singer and songwriter from Vermont. He has been making waves around the music industry for the last 5 years and with much success. He is well known for his music in genres like folk, indie, and pop. Noah is also recognized for his songwriting that is inspired by his own life experiences of growing up in a small town and everything in between. Listeners can relate to his authenticity and vulnerability he adds to every lyric. Noah released his first single, “Hold It Down” in 2017 then would go on to release more singles that year and his debut EP a year later. With even more singles released in between, Noah released his first full length album, “Busyhead” in 2019. After releasing an EP and even more singles, Noah shared his second album out with listeners during the pandemic. More recently, his latest release is his third album, “Stick Season” which was released in October 2022. Currently Noah has amassed an impressive following of over 8 million monthly listeners on Spotify as well as over 1 billion streams on the platform. Along with The Strumbellas, Noah has opened for artists like Ben Folds, Milky Chance, George Ezra, Dean Lewis, and James Bay before headlining his own shows. Seeing Noah live was a highlight of my year so far. If you get the chance to see him live or if you are considering going to one of his upcoming shows that aren't already sold out, you will not regret it.
Written By Jenna Barton
*copyright not intended. Fair use act, section 107.