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The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Liveshot: Noah Kahan brings out special guests, celebrates one year of Stick Season at ACL Weekend 2

Lorianne Willett
Noah Kahan performs during weekend two of ACL on October 14, 2023.

The sun starts to set over Zilker Park, painting an anxious crowd of fans golden. As the clock nears 7 p.m., chants start from the thousands gathered at the T-Mobile stage to see singer-songwriter Noah Kahan perform.

Finally, the stage lights dim and the plucky guitar notes of “Northern Attitude” echo out from the speakers. Kahan, or “Folk Malone,” as the artist likes to call himself, appears to enthusiastic cheers. 

With a heartfelt performance from the New England singer, Kahan’s ACL set at the T-Mobile stage rang in the one-year anniversary of his breakout album Stick Season with a passionate crowd of emotional fans. 

After opening the set with the scene-setting “Northern Attitude,” Kahan went into the lovesick and urgent “She Calls Me Back” and the jealous and petty “New Perspective.” 

For an artist who catapulted to new levels of success overnight a little over a year ago, it seemed as though there were no true deep cuts from the artist’s newest album. On every song, Kahan crooned over a backup chorus from the crowd, who loyally sang every lyric to every track alongside the singer. 

Cheers erupted as Kahan started “Your Needs, My Needs,” a bonus track from Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever), the album’s deluxe edition. Kahan’s added vocal runs showcased the artist’s powerful voice, often prompting cheers from the crowd during longer notes. 

Many of Kahan’s songs discuss the singer’s struggles with mental health, with vulnerable and open lyrics that don’t shy away from talking about therapy or taking antidepressants. After singing an acoustic rendition of “Growing Sideways,” one of Kahan’s most forlorn songs, Kahan brought out Mumford and Sons to sing the deeply personal “Call Your Mom.”

A fan favorite yet seldom sung live, the duet proved a special surprise for the crowd who swayed along to Kahan and the band’s harmonies. 

Following the duet, Kahan brought back the punchy guitar and folk riffs with his two biggest hits, “Dial Drunk” and “Stick Season.” The crowd felt as loud as the singer himself, screaming back the lyrics with fervor. 

Though much of Kahan’s discography offers many references to his New England heritage, the northerner embodied classic country storytelling on songs like “Orange Juice” and “Dial Drunk,” with parallel narratives and personal details invoking the same motifs as classic country and folk singers like John Denver and Emmylou Harris. 

Following “Stick Season,” Kahan decided to give the audience one more treat: going over his set time to sing “Homesick,” jumping off the stage to run beside the spirited crowd.

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About the Contributors
Trisha Dasgupta, Senior Life & Arts Reporter
Dasgupta is a journalism freshman from Frisco, Texas. She currently works as a senior reporter for the Life and Arts department and has previously covered news for The Texan. When she's not writing articles you can find her listening to Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, or Billy Joel.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.