On September 29th at 6:00pm, the Credit One Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina, opened its doors for fans of singer-songwriter, Noah Kahan. Eager as ever to secure their spots on the floor of the 10,200 capacity venue, they rushed in and waited for the events of the night to begin.
After the opener, local artist Ruston Kelly, finished his set, the crew prepped the stage. While waiting for the lights to go down the crowd occupied themselves by starting a wave that rippled around the entire stadium as the rest of the crowd filtered in. Finally, the time had arrived. The lights went down causing screams of excitement to erupt around the entire venue. He kicked off his set with hit single "Northern Attitude" from his third studio album, released in October of 2022, Stick Season. Straying from his indie-pop roots, this album is more centered on a folk sound that really pulls you into his world. Before the next song, "She Calls Me Back," Kahan asked the crowd to scream the number in the pre-chorus as loud as they could, and scream they did! In fact, I think this was one of the loudest audiences I have ever heard. One of my favorite things that some artists like Noah do is engage with their fans in fun ways. For example, during a break between songs, someone on barricade had a film camera, which he decided he wanted and proceeded to take a photo of them.
He continued with "New Perspective" and "Everywhere, Everything," songs that touch on failed and successful relations and his hometown. Next was "Your Needs, My Needs," a slower but more intense song with powerful vocals. It is definitely a favorite of mine, especially when he sings "I'm namin' the stars in the sky after you."
He then took us on an emotional rollercoaster with "Maine" from his 2020 EP Cape Elizabeth, "Growing Sideways," and "Paul Revere." Somehow he made a room full of thousands of people feel like it was small and intimate with these songs, and although most of them are utterly heartbreaking, it was uplifting at the same time because they're so relatable. He made sure to lift the mood before going into "False Confidence" from his first album Busyhead by joking that if you didn't know it, you should leave, but buy merch first.
He decided to give a little backstory before playing "Call Your Mom," saying he didn't perform it much live before because it was hard for him, as the song sends a message of unconditional support for those who struggle with mental health, specifically depression, but he's glad he does now because of the amount of people that have been helped by it.
It's difficult not to get emotional when he puts "You're Gonna Go Far" and "Orange Juice" back to back on the setlist. Needless to say, the tears were definitely flowing. "Dial Drunk" got people moving once more before they left the stage. Now in the homestretch, Kahan came back for just three more songs, "The View Between Villages - Extended," "Stick Season," and finished off with "Homesick," jumping around, getting down onto the speakers, and smiling the entire time. It was a great way to end one of the best shows I've been to this year. They finished off with a bow and the crowd reluctantly made their way out of the building, not ready for it to be over.
I highly, highly recommend seeing Noah Kahan live. The space he creates for his fans is so comforting and healing and I would do anything to see him again. You can catch him on tour here!
All Images of Noah Kahan via Bella Wagner