Noah Kahan sells out two nights at Berkeley’s Greek Theater

Noah Kahan sells out two nights at Berkeley’s Greek Theater
Photo cred: Marc Fong

Vermont singer-songwriter Noah Kahan (with New England roots) has become one of the fastest rising artists of this generation. Despite getting his start in 2017 and releasing two albums Busyhead and I Was/I Am in 2019 and 2021, respectively, it wasn’t until 2022’s critically acclaimed album Stick Season that garnered Kahan well overdue recognition, chart-topping hits, and even a GRAMMY nomination. 

The We’ll All Be Here Forever Tour is Kahan’s third North American run in support of Stick Season, the 2023 release Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever), and the extended 2024 version Stick Season (Forever) — the latter which features collaborations with artists Post Malone, Brandi Carlisle, Kacey Musgraves, Hozier, and more.

Nearing the end of this tour leg, Kahan sold out two incredible nights at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA.

Singer-songwriter Jensen McRae helped lead the evening, with a performance that easily compares her to the likeness of Phoebe Bridgers meets Tracy Chapman. Her vocals kept the crowd mesmerized as anticipation built more and more for Noah. 

Photo cred: Marc Fong

And, when the time came, Kahan ran out onstage moving in sync to the beats of the heavy-hitter “Dial Drunk”. He was beaming with energy, bouncing around and moving his head forward as if striving to be closer to the audience. The first part of the set featured songs off his three latest albums, including “False Confidence”, “Everywhere, Everything”, and “New Perspective”, before Kahan slowed it down with an acoustic set.

While crew members rushed onstage to quickly make set design changes mimicking Kahan’s mother’s living room, complete with childhood photos, his following song selections were clear tributes to his younger days growing up in Vermont. Kahan’s songwriting has mastered the art of capturing the youth experience… of being trapped in the confusion of life, but also having a fondness of looking back on it. 

Photo cred: Marc Fong

A core part of the night was when Kahan ran out into the middle of the upper bowl for his B-stage set. Now playing bigger arenas, Kahan made it his mission to be as close to the audience as possible during the show to connect with them. That he did with a solo acoustic set, featuring some of his more emotionally resonant songs, like “Growing Sideways” and “Strawberry Wine”. He gave out high fives to the lucky audience members lining the edges, as he made his way back to the main stage. “How do you guys go to the bathroom? You guys are so packed in there,” Kahan asked. “Oh, you don’t? Got it,” he remarked, laughing.

Throughout the night, he made several jokes poking fun at some of the signs audience members made.

Kahan’s stage presence, outside of performing the songs, is unlike a lot of artists today: he presents a combination of blunt humor and genuine, cheery dialogue with the audience. Noah Kahan ended the main part of his set with “Northern Attitude”, equipped with bubbles shooting out into the audience at the last chorus.

Photo cred: Marc Fong

After walking offstage briefly, the audience cheers were deafening, prompting Kahan to come back out for a two-song encore — “The View Between Villages” and his viral hit “Stick Season”. A powerhouse voice that can switch between raw and vulnerable to raspy and explosive, Kahan taps into the emotions that everyone feels, paving the way for an overly captivating live show.

Photography by Marc Fong

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