Gig Review | Noah Kahan @ O2 Academy

Stick Season Tour Poster

“The loudest audience I’ve found myself in.”

Noah Kahan brought his completely sold out Stick Season tour across Europe and the UK. Due to phenomenal demand, the Glasgow venue was upgraded to the O2 Academy. Yet again, the additional tickets flew out for this show with around 2,500 people travelling from all over Scotland to see him. Noah Kahan gave fans a night to remember with his most popular tunes and a stage production that left most in awe.

With the Glasgow O2 Academy reaching capacity, fans waited in anticipation for Kahan to take to the stage. The lights eventually dimmed and his band, including guitarists Noah Levine and Alex Bachari, took to the stage. When Kahan appeared on stage, the crowd erupted with enough volume to leave your ears ringing. From the first note played, the Glasgow audience aided Noah Kahan in creating an atmosphere so electric, you didn’t want it to end. For the entire duration of his set, fans sang along in harmony with the folk singer. I found myself smiling as I scanned the room. Groups of fans sang the words to each other and right back at Kahan.

Photograph of the crowd Uchechi | Insta: @shotbyuchechi

In his second song of the night, Noah Kahan began playing ‘She Calls Me Back‘ and, again, the fans shared their delight with the sound of cheers and screams from all around. The unity among the dedicated fans made it difficult to hear Kahan at times which only goes to show just how popular and meaningful he is to them. In all the shows I’ve attended at the O2 Academy, this has, by far, been the loudest audience I’ve found myself in.

This enthusiasm carried on into his other songs including fan favourites like ‘All My Love‘, ‘Dial Drunk‘, and his most popular tune, ‘Stick Season‘. His rapport with the crowd was also incredible, it is obvious Kahan was born to perform. At one point he joked with the audience, “y’all look too happy“. He further joked that his aim was to make everyone leave feeling more sad than when they came in. This pokes fun at his often vulnerable an honest lyrical work. This connection between Kahan and over 2000 people really added to the environment he’d brought to life.

His bond with the crowd also came as a result of his anecdotes about some of his tunes. Some of these explained briefly where the inspiration from each song came from, others provided an air of relatability. No matter which story he told, fans instantly connected them with a certain song and cheered loudly, indicating they knew the specific song and were excited for it to be played.

Photo of Noah Kahan on stage by Uchechi | Insta: @shotbyuchechi

His musical success has so far seen him work with other huge names including Post Malone, Kacey Musgraves, and Hozier. These collaborations have resulted in songs that are incredibly easy to follow and hearing these live, but from his perspective, was a unique experience.

The singer, from the United States, illuminated the venue with a phenomenal stage production that included visuals behind him on a huge screen. Again, this isn’t something I’ve personally seen at this venue too often. It is an addition to the show that only added to the already electric atmosphere. This was particularly useful if you were further back in the venue, or perhaps stood behind some unusually tall person. These visuals created a welcoming feel and drew more of the crowd into his set, creating a visualisation of what he was singing, or simply allowing more people to actually see him singing.

With each song, Kahan’s voice was crystal clear and every word was beautifully sang. Elongated and high notes were met with exceptionally loud cheers and screams, supporting just how impressive his musical abilities truly are.

The loud and friendly audience welcomed Noah Kahan, which makes it no surprise that he is returning soon. Due to the demand and popularity for the Stick Season tour, Noah Kahan and his band will be returning in February next year for another string of shows. These are bound to be just as much in demand, if not more, than this tour.