Noah Kahan charms effortlessly in 3Arena celebration

by James Hendicott
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For some people, Covid lockdown went a lot better than others. One such person was Noah Kahan. At the time a modestly successful singer-songwriter, he released the opening verse to the now pervasive ‘Stick Season’ in a TikTok video, went hugely viral, and the rest is history.

Having made a misstep before he arrived in Dublin – he printed ‘Dublin, UK’ on his tour patches – once he was on the ground, Kahan launched a show heavy with sentiment and effortless charm. Dropping a reference to the patch gaff a few songs in, he proceeded to unwrap the majority of that album, displaying an emotional vulnerability and mild sense of disbelief throughout as the 14,000 strong belted back every word to even the most obscure corners of his back catalogue.

The highs, naturally, were the big singles, though a nod has to be made to the reflective feel of ‘False Confidence’ and fun-loving wit of ‘Dial Drunk’. For ‘Northern Attitude’, a subtle exploration of his own dark side, Kahan brought local hero Dermot Kennedy out on stage for a couple of verses (in place of Hozier, who appears on the album version), and ahead of ‘Growing Sideways’, he gave a nod to those attending concerts alone, and to our individual battles for mental wellbeing.

The song currently occupying the airwaves above all others, though, is ‘Stick Season’, and true to form it was dropped to a pulsating reaction mid-way through the encore, ahead of a toned-down close in ‘Homesick’. Kahan is in that phase of his development where he’s well known to music aficionados but still hovering on the periphery of ‘household name’. That ‘household name’ element, though, is just around the corner: last week, the echoing walls of the 3Arena seemed too small to contain the adoration thrown his way.

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