Article and Photos by: Andrew Kopanski
Boston, MA — It’s a great time to be a fan of musical acts from Vermont. Phish is touring, Dispatch is back together, and newcomer Noah Kahan has been enjoying a meteoric rise in popularity. He’s only just released his first full length album Sleepyhead, and is selling out shows throughout his tour including two nights here at the Paradise in Boston. Kahan’s album is remarkably deep and introspective as he shares his innermost thoughts on life, touring, and a full range of emotions. His work is both catchy and lyrically complex, requiring more than just a casual listen to fully appreciate.
JP Saxe opens with a delicate song on piano, his words and falsetto soaring through the crowd. Most of his songs are from his self-described “post-love era” (because saying they’re all breakup songs is too depressing) and he has a way of bringing those intimate moments to the stage and enveloping the listener in those moments. Each song is a vignette from his past as he opens up about his struggles. “Same Room” shares the experience of running into his ex at a concert, and “Anybody Else” shows the seeming insanity of love from the driver’s seat. His set is a rollercoaster of emotion and we’re strapped in beside him for the ride.
Kahan’s music scales perfectly and is equally at home played solo/acoustic or how he presents it tonight. Backed by five band members, he embraces the pop side to his tracks. The house is packed with an exceptionally enthusiastic audience, cheering loudly during the first new notes of each and every song as they recognize what’s to come, and singing along through the end. Kahan’s voice floats effortlessly through his songs, carrying the emotion behind his words as they resonate from the stage. He has been touring tirelessly and it’s paid off as he’s gained incredible stage presence and talent along the way.
Someone was handing out green hearts in line before the show and as Kahan played “Carlo’s Song,” everyone held them up in front of their phone flashlights, creating a sea of green as a touching memoir to his friend who had passed away.
Noah Kahan’s tour continues throughout the USA and Europe, be sure to check him out at a venue near you!