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Monday, February 26, 2024

Noah Kahan’s folk-infused indie tunes sell out the Sylvee

‘Folk Malone’ tells fans to go to therapy and connects with the crowd.

The rain didn't keep a soul home on Friday, Nov. 4. Instead, fans swarmed the sold-out Sylvee to hear singer-songwriter Noah Kahan and his opener Adam Melchor. Madison was the 13th stop on Kahan's “Stick Season Tour,” which follows the mid-October release of his third and most popular album to date, "Stick Season."

Kahan's impressive lyricism is on full display in the album's title track, "Stick Season," likely contributing to the song's virality on TikTok. With users making their own versions by adding their own lyrics in renditions, the song quickly spread. While TikTok users boosted the song, Kahan's melodic folk-infused indie tunes and sold-out venues illustrate he is more than just a trend on the app.

The night began with New Jersey indie-folk-pop artist Adam Melchor. Melchor's calm tunes and warm vibes beautifully set the scene for the evening. 

He started his set with a cover of the classic, cozy tune "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," showcasing his vocal and guitar talents. His third song, "Joyride," had the crowd swaying side to side. While the room didn't seem to know all the words, the audience remained engaged, letting out enthusiastic yelps. He then taught the lyrics to his song "Rest Of My Night" and asked for audience participation. The crowd eagerly obliged and sang along. 

Melchor showed off his personality, connected with the crowd and caused some giggles as he told the audience to "get sad, get paid" and "if you're gonna monetize off anything, monetize off your trauma." 

About 25 minutes after Melchor was done impressing the audience with his genuineness and musical talents, the lights dimmed, the audience cheered and Noah Kahan took the stage. He started off with "False Confidence," "All My Love" and "Everywhere, Everything." 

Kahan then took a moment to speak to the crowd, joyfully sharing that he was called a "Jewish Ed Sheeran" and is a self-proclaimed "Folk Malone." He continued by expressing his excitement about being in Madison and the sold-out venue. Kahan then shared stories of personal growth with the crowd.

"I don't care if you are the happiest person in the world,” Kahan exclaimed. “Everyone should go to therapy!"

This was a perfect segue, as he then burst into the lyrics: "So I took my medication and I poured my trauma out" from his song "Growing Sideways." 

Later in the performance, Kahan excited fans by bringing Melchor back onto the stage for a duet to the tune "Halloween." Kahan and Melchor's voices intertwined as they sang, taking turns hitting the high notes in a playful musical banter. 

Noah Kahan’s passionate smile continued to reappear throughout the show.

As he performed "Northern Attitude," the crowd gleefully chanted the chorus, "If the sun don't rise / ‘Till the summer time / Forgive my northern attitude / Oh, I was raised on little light." Energy in the Sylvee increased each time the chorus was recited. By the end of this tune, people were shouting the words with animated looks in their eyes. 

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"You guys are so much fucking fun, thank you," shouted Kahan to the roaring crowd.

The audience then swayed to "She Calls Me Back" and "Passenger" as the night took a more heartful, somber turn. 

Kahan told the crowd they were not alone and that his next song goes out to anyone who has ever lost someone they loved. 

He shared that he wrote this upcoming song for his friend, Carlo. As he performed "Carlo's Song," phone cameras illuminated the room, creating a sort of palpable, magical energy. 

Kahan then sang "Homesick," a story about leaving your hometown which seemed to strike a chord with an audience dominated by college students, many of whom were likely far from home.

Noah Kahan's penultimate song of the evening was "Stick Season" — a fan favorite. In an exciting end to the evening, the whole crowd sang along to the words, "I love Vermont, but it's the season of the sticks and I / Saw your mom she forgot that I existed and / It's half my fault, but I just like to play the victim.” 

Noah Kahan's folk-infused indie tunes rocked the sold-out Sylvee that night. Kahan has seven more stops on his tour and will be heading to Minneapolis and Salt Lake City next.

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