Concert Review: Noah Kahan at Mission Ballroom


On Friday, February 17, Folk-pop singer-songwriter Noah Kahan performed at Mission Ballroom in Denver. Immediately upon entering the venue, the outdoorsy crowd offered warmth and welcome, perfect for Kahan’s heartfelt music. The venue even sold local coffee. An iced vanilla latte was something I never knew I would need at a concert! 

The opening performer, Jack Van Cleaf, arrived on time at 8 pm. I could not have picked a better opener for Noah Kahan. Van Cleaf’s style was reminiscent of West Virginia indie folk. The lovely guitar paired with Van Cleaf’s raw vocals gave a gorgeous performance. He played seven songs, most of which were from his 2022 album Fruit from the Trees. However, he even snuck in his new release, which had come out on the concert day. We were lucky to be the first live audience of the song. My favorite moment of Van Cleaf’s opening was his performance of “Cowboy.” The song was a beautiful description of the life of a cowboy while both emotional and melodious. 

Then, almost exactly 15 minutes after Van Cleaf’s show, Noah Kahan appeared on stage. His natural talent is entirely undeniable. He took each audience member on an emotional rollercoaster with his incredible songwriting and voice. Songs like “All my Love” and “She Calls Me Back” had everyone jumping and screaming the lyrics. Then a few pieces later, tears flowed to “Carlo’s Song” and “Glue Myself Shut.” Kahan mostly performed songs from his October 2022 album, Stick Season, but he also played some oldies for die-hard fans. Kahan’s general Vermont-Hippie energy made for exceptional dry humor and unparalleled realness – humorousness and seriousness.

The highlight of the entire show was when Kahan welcomed “special guest” and lead singer of The Lumineers – Wesley Schultz – to the stage to sing Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit song “If We Were Vampires.” I had chills for the entirety of their performance. The song was performed with simple acoustic guitar and lovely soaring melodies, making for an angelic sound. 

Overall Noah Kahan’s concert was one to look back on fondly. He is an artist who will never disappoint his adoring fans while offering outstanding life lessons between songs.