Noah Kahan plays to a sold-out crowd on day one of a 3-day September heat wave. The last time Noah played Bridgeport, Connecticut was at The Sound on Sound Festival, as an opening act last year . This year he brought his Stick Season Summer Tour ’23 back to town to a local 5000 seat boutique venue, The Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater. The parking lot was packed and the lines to get in were long. There was a merch booth outside so people that wanted to buy posters, shirts or other items could put them back in their cars before going in. Ragdio station, Star 99.9 was on hand to greet fans outside the venue. The doors opened on time and security did a great job keeping the fans moving swiftly.
Ruston Kelly was on hand to get the night started. He is a singer/songwriter who attended college in Nashville, Tennessee and brought his blend of country, pop rock and folk out for us to enjoy. In 2013, he had a song he wrote, “Nashville Without You”, appear on an album by Tim McGraw. Ruston Kelly’s debut EP came out in 2017, and he has had 3 studio albums since. The latest album entitled The Weakness, was released in January of 2023.
The sun was going down, which was nice because it was about 90 degrees out, when Ruston Kelly hit the stage with his 5-piece band. He played a 10-song set of original songs including a couple of his most recent album, and also added in a few cover songs, Taylor Swift‘s “All Too Well”, and Wheatus‘ “Teenage Dirtbag”. The fans seemed to really enjoy Ruston’s songs of which many speak of personal struggles he has dealt with in life. He ended the set with “The Weakness”, the title track of his current album.
1.Cover My Tracks
5.Teenage Dirtbag (Wheatus cover)
9.All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (Taylor Swift cover)
I first saw Noah Kahan at The Sound on Sound Festival in 2022. Soon after that show he released Stick Season, which charted at number three in the United States. This is really when he started to get big. When I saw he was coming back to Bridgeport, I had to get back to see him again. Jimmy Koplik, Live Nation’s president for Connecticut and upstate New York, said on the radio a few weeks ago that Noah Kahan is big enough now, that he could be considered to be one of the headliner’s at Sound on Sound Festival 2024. Available at the show was a beer collaboration between local brewery, Two Road’s Brewing Company and Noah Kahan. They had Northern Attitude IPA with a custom Noah Kahan label for sale and $1 from each beer sold would be donated to Noah’s Mental Health Initiative, The Busy Head Project.
Temps were cooling off a little after the sun went down, but it was still a sweaty night with the crowd on their feet and singing along to every song. Noah hit the stage around 9:00 pm with “Northern Attitude” and it was apparent that his fans were dedicated as they were singing along from the first word. His 16-song set consisted of mostly songs off of Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever), with the exception of four. Noah’s vocal ability and song writing skills are exceptional. The energy and excitement in the crowd was at a level I hadn’t seen in a long while.
At one point, Noah hopped down into the pit and greet the fans at the rail, before he continued across and back up on the opposite side of the stage. He addressed the crowd and let them know he was going to play the song “Call Your Mom” and hoped that it might help someone. He frequently talked about growing up in New England and the struggles he faced. He made fun of the rest areas on Route 15 in Connecticut all looking identical and not knowing which one you are at. His last song before the encore was “Dial Drunk”, a song that features Post Malone on the studio recording.
The first song of the encore was “The View Between Villages”, which on the extended version contains an extra verse where members of his hometown described growing up there. Noah would periodically stop and listen so he could hear the fans singing along. He ended a sweaty and emotion filled show with “Stick Season”, and “Homesick”.
Noah Kahan is touring the US through October 15 and most of the shows are sold out. He then goes over seas through the end of February and most of those shows are already sold out too. I feel blessed that I got to see him at a more intimate 5000 seat venue. If you can get tickets to one of his shows, I would highly recommend going to experience the passion in his music and sense of unity he brings to his concerts.
Noah Kahan is:
Noah Kahan – Guitar, lead vocals
Noah Levine – Guitar, backing vocals
Alex Bachari – Bass, backing vocals
Marcos Valles – Drums, backing vocals
Dylan Jones – Banjo, piano, backing vocals
2.She Calls Me Back
6.Growing Sideways (acoustic)
7.Paul Revere (acoustic)
8.All My Love
10.Call Your Mom
11.You’re Gonna Go Far
13. Dial Drunk
14.The View Between Villages (extended)
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