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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Noah Kahan has ‘All My Love’

Noah Kahan brought special guests Ryan Beatty and Jelly Roll to Bridgestone Arena for his “We’ll All Be Here Forever” tour on May 24 and 25 in Nashville.
Noah Kahan performing at Bridgestone Arena. (photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Hungerford)

After almost all the Vanderbilt students traveled home for the summer, I felt empty and lost without my friends and busy class schedule. However, on May 24, Noah Kahan, with Ryan Beatty and Jelly Roll, gave me the therapy session I needed to start my first summer in Nashville off right. 

In “We’ll All Be Here Forever,” the sister tour to the original “Stick Season,” Kahan is performing some of his new songs found on the extended version of the “Stick Season” album, “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever).” Throughout his show, Kahan told the story of moving to Nashville after high school to write music, going to places all by himself and feeling like he “would be alone forever.” 

“Once you realize you can do whatever you want by yourself, the whole world opens up for you,” Kahan said. “So I want to say to anybody out there who’s trying to follow their dreams, I want to say keep going even if it’s hard.”

Beatty, the opener for Kahan’s set, truly embraced the culture of Nashville with two iconic country covers and several of his own songs. Beatty is a singer-songwriter from California who has worked with several major artists. Most recently, he was noted as a songwriter for several songs from Beyonce’s newest album, “Cowboy Carter.” 

In his set, Beatty performed covers of Dolly Parton’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?” and Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon.” In addition, he performed some songs from his second studio album, “Calico.” My personal favorites were “Andromeda” and “Ribbons,” which highlight the relaxed, airy music that makes up most of his album. While this wasn’t Beatty’s first time in Nashville, I certainly hope it won’t be his last. 

When Kahan finally took the stage, it felt like indie-folk heaven. With his iconic French braids and a jean jacket, he indulged the audience with “Dial Drunk” as his first song in the set. Following the electric energy, he continued with “New Perspective,” “Everywhere, Everything,” “False Confidence” and “Forever.” Each song added to the therapeutic feeling, reflecting on small towns, love and new possibilities. 

Leading into his sixth song of the set, Kahan got even more personal with the audience by changing the stage setup. Sitting on chairs in a half circle with members of his band, he sang acoustic versions of “Come Over” and “Godlight,” two songs that focus on home and identity. He explained that the pictures in the background were set up to look like his mom’s living room. 

“We set this up to look like my mom’s living room because I wanted it to have a little piece of home on the road with me,” Kahan said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford to fly out all the generational trauma.”

Following the acoustic portion, Kahan continued to touch my heart through the songs “Paul Revere” and “All My Love.” Although these songs often talk about serious trauma and difficult memories, Kahan kept the feeling in the arena light and happy by cracking jokes throughout. To introduce “Your Needs, My Needs,” he said the song is “about Zoloft and why [we] all should be on it.” The next song, “The Great Divide,” followed the same theme and reflected on mental health and spirituality. 

For the twelfth song of the set, Kahan performed one of my personal favorites, “You’re Gonna Go Far.” As a college student living my first summer away from my family, this song feels personal as it discusses accepting someone leaving to chase their dreams and being there whenever they return. Kahan finished the song and introduced his band, with the immense amount of appreciation and connection between him and his bandmates feeling like a supportive family of its own. Kahan continued his reflections on family and his hometown with “Homesick,” a song that describes being both sick of and sick for home. 

Kahan got closer to the crowd by playing acoustic versions of “Growing Sideways” and “Strawberry Wine” on a small stage in the middle of Bridgestone. He then returned to the main stage for the last five songs of his set, including fan favorite “Northern Attitude.” As each song concluded, my dread increased as I knew we were reaching the end. I decided to finish the concert with a bang, singing as loud as I could to the “Northern Attitude” verses as fake snow fell onto the stadium.

When the last verse concluded, Kahan said his presumed final thank yous and exited the stage. In the dark, the crowd cheered for an encore until the band walked back on stage. As the notes to “The View Between Villages” began, Kahan ran out in a customized Nashville Predators jersey. Although I truly believed that this would be his last song, I was thankfully mistaken. 

The infamous and beloved “Stick Season” was Kahan’s final song to conclude a truly magical concert. Partway into the song, I was shocked to find him introducing one of his “closest friends,” Jelly Roll, to join him in singing. Jelly Roll returned the appreciation towards the end of the song, asking the crowd to make noise for Noah Kahan. 

As my concert therapy ended, I felt proud to explore such deep and meaningful topics with an artist who truly does justice to describing some of life’s hardest events. On my way home, I continued to think about his deep care for giving back to the things he talks about in his music, with $1 from each ticket being donated to The Busyhead Project, a fund Kahan created to support organizations providing access to and delivering mental health treatment. Although he has moved back up north, Nashville will always have a special place in its heart for the previous Nashville native Noah Kahan.   

Olivia Noell assisted in the reporting on this article.

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About the Contributor
Kate Connell
Kate Connell, Opinion Editor
Kate Connell (‘26) is from Seneca, Mo., and studies psychology in the College of Arts and Science on the pre-medical track. She previously served as Managing Editor and Opinion Copy Editor and Podcasts Director. When not working at The Hustler, you can find her getting coffee, relaxing at Centennial Park or stressing in the Stevenson building. She can be reached at [email protected]
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