Let me set the scene. December 17th, the day I had eagerly been awaiting. The Unheard Gems finally get to go to see Noah Kahan and Blake Rose. Zoe (photographer), Anne (writer), and I (writer/founder) piled into the CRV and put on our playlist but all we could talk about was how excited we were for the show. If you have followed Unheard Gems for a while you may know that we are the biggest Blake Rose fans that could ever exist - an interview back in 2018 (https://www.unheardgems.com/post/blake-rose-goes-1-on-1-with-unheard-gems) and so many single reviews. Fun fact, Zoe told me before photographing the show that she would be singing her heart out to Noah’s set while taking the photos, maybe Noah could tell that there was some serious love coming from the photo pit.
The sold-out show filled the Fonda Theater with this feeling of comradery and love. It was immediately clear that everyone in attendance had this shared experience finding comfort in these songs that were about to be played.
Blake stepped on stage to a roar of cheers from the crowd. “Rollerblades” were the song to kick off the show. Rose has his infectious pop-rock growl that makes everyone fall in love with his music. He encourage fans to dance and approach people they thought were attractive. Who wouldn’t want to dance with attractive strangers as Blake Rose blares in the background? It was straight out of a movie. Rose is a rising star who can command a room with everything from slow songs that make fans cry to bops that get everyone dancing. Blake hopped off stage at one point to give some high-fives, I think some fangirls still haven’t washed their hands. My favorite part of the set? The killer drum breakdown in “Heavy Shit”. That might be the best moment I have seen at a concert in my recent memory. We might have to support Blake in the name change to B-Money.
The countdown to Noah was one that you could hear and feel. When Kahan stepped on stage his chilled singer-songwriter energy filled the room. Opening with a bit of his song “Busyhead”, it seemed to almost call the crowd to put aside any worries and stress they had outside of the moment to fully embrace being at the show and in the moment. With each passing song, it felt as though a weight was lifted. I couldn’t tell you how many guitars were used in Noah’s set but his skill and synchronicity with his band were incredible to witness and hear. The entire set felt like anthem after anthem of recovery, self-discovery, acceptance, and love. It was an empowering experience to be surrounded by the energy of this crowd and this artist. I’m not sure when Kahan will tour next (after all this was close to a 40 stop tour) but I encourage you to get tickets and fall head over heels with this artist.
Review by Hannah Schneider