- 09 Feb 24
Only three months after headlining The National Stadium, Noah Kahan is back in Dublin with a sold-out show at 3Arena.
Noah Kahan's 3Arena performance, more accurately described as a cathartic mass singalong, was the therapy session crowds didn’t realize they needed (although the whoops of delight leading into the Vermonter’s “lying to your therapist” anthem ‘Growing Sideways’ suggested otherwise).
Soaked from the Thursday night rain and packed shoulder to shoulder in the sold-out venue, Kahan’s fans couldn’t have cheered louder, roaring with excitement as he bound onstage sporting two french braids and a pint of Guinness.
Without missing a beat, Kahan pulled out his trademark self-deprecating humor, making a nod to his recent nomination for best new artist as he cried, “I’m Grammy-losing artist Noah Kahan, and I’m so happy to be here!”
Still new to the immense fan base he has won over the past year, Kahan was clearly taken aback by the thunderous applause that accompanied opening number ‘All My Love,’ a response that only grew as the night progressed.
Never shying away from the opportunity to share an intimate moment with his fans, Kahan looked out over the crowd in disbelief following an equally deafening reception of ‘New Perspective,’ ‘She Calls Me Back’ and ‘Everywhere, Everything.'
“I flew home from LA and I thought, ‘Man, I’m a fucking loser,’ and I felt like a loser," Kahan admitted. "And then I walked out tonight, and I saw 12,000 people singing my songs… I’m so honored to do this.”
As the night went on, Kahan’s candor only grew, jumping into the gut-wrenching track ‘No Complaints,’ an achingly personal song about mental health that quickly found its way into the hearts of young audience members. Kahan’s heartbreaking delivery was briefly interrupted during the song’s final chorus as he jokingly apologized for mistakenly marking Dublin as a UK city earlier in the week, singing, “I got a paper and pen… ‘We’re not in the UK.’”
Despite successfully achieving “music-your-dad-has-heard-of” status, Kahan’s small-town roots were as apparent in the 13,000-seat arena as they were in the quarantine-induced TikToks from his Vermont bedroom. Kahan’s no-frills performance, contributing little more than his heart-on-sleeve lyrics, droll wit and wide-eyed expression, was the definition of authenticity, with his music taking centre stage as energy and life flooded the music hall.
Following throwbacks ‘Pain in Cold Water’ and ‘Maine,’ both illuminated by thousands of iPhone flashlights, the room entered near pandemonium as Kahan welcomed Dublin singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy to the stage for ‘Northern Attitude.’ While audience member’s had expected the track’s original collaborator Hozier to appear from the stage wings, Kennedy’s surprise performance brought the room’s energy to new heights.
The duet led seamlessly into Kahan’s latest track, ‘Forever,’ one of the singer’s final three releases from his newly completed album Stick Season: Forever. As the third installation in the New Englander’s Stick Season trilogy, coming after his 2023 LP We’ll All Be Here Forever, the collaborative project features eight chart-topping artists including Hozier, Gregory Alan Isakov and Brandi Carlile to name a few. Despite the new track’s then unreleased status, the arena’s die-hard fans still accompanied Kahan with every lyric.
After imploring listeners to appreciate their loved ones and taking a moment to commemorate his late friend with ‘Carlo’s Song,’ Kahan dedicated ‘You’re Gonna Go Far’ to the solo members of the audience, emphasizing the importance of spending time alone and sharing the loneliness that he felt while attending last week’s Grammy Awards in LA. “If you ever feel like a weirdo walking into a movie theatre or restaurant by yourself,” Kahan joked, “just know that it’s way more fun than having to deal with some asshole next to you.”
The night came to a close with a manic string of Kahan’s most popular songs, the crowd dissolving into mayhem as ‘Dial Drunk,’ ‘Stick Season’ and ‘Homesick’ roared to life onstage. With cult-like accuracy, the crowd chanted each song’s iconic lyrics, reaching a fever pitch as the names of hundreds of Vermont towns streamed across the stage’s LED screens, landing on Kahan’s hometown of Stafford, the inspiration behind his last year of unmatched success. With international tour dates leading into the summer, Kahan’s endearing personality and ineffable talent have brought him a long way from rural New England.