December 16, 2021
Photos by Kylie McCormick
The perfect set, a balance of honesty and vulnerability and energy and sound, is an elusive white whale for many concertgoers and yet for those you wandered into The Fillmore for Noah Kahan found just that. The perfect set making for the perfect night. Singer-songwriter folk pop artist Noah Kahan returned to the stage, delivering a show that has been on repeat in our brains for days.
After a brief interlude following the opener, Kahan walks onto the blackened stage, alone he starts the night off with an acoustic ‘A Troubled Mind.’ Raw and vulnerable, the first lick of the guitar and the quiet vocals craft this sort of intimacy in the room, everyone leaning in to listen to every word flowing from Kahan’s lips. The still energy only lasts a bit, as Kahan and band launch into pop infused ‘Passenger,’ ‘Animal,’ and ‘False Confidence.’ All are clear fan favorites, the crowd dancing and singing along as Kahan brings a lightheaded energy to the stage.
As the lights morph and throw shades of purple and green, the steady drumbeat of ‘Hollow’ calms the bouncing energy, the audience seemingly nodding along as Kahan sings about feeling empty. Gripping the struggles of life, the song perfectly displays Kahan’s ability to write emotion and doubt and question into song, a reason why his music resonates so deeply with his audience.
The sweet melody of ‘Someone Like You’ brings about a flurry of clapping, the audience giggling as they add to the cacophony of sound. A new song, ‘New Perspective,’ continues the energy as the mandolin solo immediately conjures a flurry of dancing. The energy swells as ‘Glue Myself Shut,’ ‘Maine,’ ‘Stick Season,’ ‘Cynic,’ and ‘Bad Luck’ bring an indie infused dance party to the room, the purple and red lights cascading around the room. The set ends with soul lifting ‘Carlos’s Song,’ ‘Godlight,’ and ‘Mess.’ The trio of songs shake the floor, as the drums and guitars collide, Kaha’s vocals wrap around the sound with power, raising the heartbeat of the room. An encore that includes ‘Hurt Somebody,’ ‘Anyway,’ and smash single ‘Young Blood’ end the night, everyone dancing around till the last note.
Noah Kahan is a unique talent, and all are glad that his star quality was not diminished during the challenge of quarantine. Perfectly linking emotional depth with musical beauty, Kahan creates music with purpose and power. His hilarity on stage intermingles with an honest vulnerability, immediately feeling like everyone’s friend. At The Fillmore, Noah Kahan crafted an incredible set; with emotion and beauty and energy and lightheartedness Kahan stopped time, a moment of music perfection.
Australian artist Blake Rose opened the night; charming and commanding of the stage, Rose’s passion and enthusiasm for music shown through each song. With all the whims and talent of a headliner, Rose’s performance was the perfect opener for the night. Add him to your playlist as you’ll be wanting to listen to Rose all year long!