By Samantha Relkin
We’re not in Vermont but it is the season of the sticks. Noah Kahan is on his Stick Season World Tour, and he stopped in Tampa this week. He took the stage to face a sold-out crowd at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater on Oct. 10.
Stepping onto the stage, Noah immediately commented about how loud the crowd was and he was certainly right. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts and that crowd was easily one of the loudest. The volume was like when I saw Taylor Swift at Raymond James Stadium, Iit was quite loud.
The volume of the crowd didn’t stop Noah from bouncing around the stage and entertaining the crowd. His concert style is like that of Ed Sheeran but with a band. Ed Sheeran’s concerts are hours of him standing on stage with various instruments with just him on stage.
Kahan’s concert is like that, but he does have a backing band. He spent over an hour jumping around the stage and having a good time to his own music. The setlist consisted of music across all his albums appealing to fans from the beginning and the ones that started listening recently.
Oct. 10 is also World Mental Health Day and Noah made sure that everyone was aware of that. Before the show began, after the opener, and after the concert QR codes were on the screens for The Busyhead Project.
The Busyhead Project is Kahan’s nonprofit supporting mental health and providing access to treatment. Scanning the QR codes during the show took you to a website where if you donated, you were entered into a raffle for a seat upgrade. The code at the end, promoted the foundation and what it stands for.
In honor of World Mental Health Day, Kahan also performed a special song. Before starting he stated that he would never sing the song again and it would never be released. The six-minute song entitled “Shape of My Shadow” talked about Kahan’s issues with a negative voice in his head while examining himself on every reflective surface. It clearly took an emotional toll on him as his eyes were watering while singing.
Walking away from the microphone at the conclusion of the song with watery eyes, the crowd was silent. The heavy feeling of the crowd stayed while Kahan reset for the next song. I’ve never seen a crowd of so many people go silent so quickly or stay that quiet for so long. At that volume, if Kahan wasn’t singing, you could’ve heard a pin drop.
The rotation of guitars was on display as a new one was used for each song. It was a rotation of about five guitars, but it was fun to see how he personalized each guitar and made it his own. His personality shined bright on the guitars and how he presented himself on stage.
Halfway through the show, Kahan noticed a stuffed Remy the Ratatouille in the crowd. He asked the fan if he could have it, and once they through it on stage he asked to wear it. Stuffing it under the strap of his overalls, he performed one of his saddest songs with Remy on his shoulder. It was hard to take the song seriously, but it was balanced out by the emotion in Kahan’s voice.
Remy wasn’t the only clothing item from the crowd as he also acquired a hat at some point. It was unclear if it was a Gasparilla pirate hat for Tampa or a hat to try and convince Kahan to sing his song, “Paul Revere.” He didn’t end up singing the song and cut “Call Your Mom” from the setlist for the night, but it was still an amazing show, nonetheless.
Noah Kahan is an amazing artist with songs that are emotional and probably will make you cry. His voice sounds the same live as it does on recordings which shows how talented he is. The tour returns to North America next summer where Kahan will also be performing back-to-back sold-out nights at Madison Square Garden.