Prior to James Bay taking the stage on this past Wednesday, fans who showed up early were treated to Noah Kahan’s incredible voice, and unexpected humor, as he opened at The Beacon. Injecting jokes between every sing-along-ready song, Kahan took to the opening slot with a big smile and reminded fans that these were his minutes to shine, but not without plenty of self-deprecation.
Crediting his guitar and hair for keeping him from being nothing more than “Ed Sheeran’s long lost Jewish Cousin,” he also noted how honored he was to be opening for Bay, who he described as a long-time idol (and now label-mate) and joked that the only reason he was growing his hair out was to keep his girlfriend interested in him, and not Bay.
Kahan played all of his most recognized tracks, including “Hurt Somebody,” “False Confidence” and his newest single “Mess” on stage in front the biggest crowd he’s had the pleasure to perform for. At the rate at which things have been going for Kahan, it shouldn’t be too long before he’s headlining New York’s biggest venues, either. Scroll down for photos from Noah’s opening set and a link to our gallery from his October show at Bowery Ballroom.
I didn’t know James Bay’s entire catalogue of music before he came on for the second night of his two sold-out shows at the historic Beacon Theatre, but I walked away avid fan on Wednesday night. The Grammy-nominated solo artist from the UK blew the crowd away throughout his set, ripping off guitar solos while scanner lights lit up the 3000-cap venue in sync with overhead lights that kept all eyes on Bay the entire night. Fans sang along to every word as Bay interlaced deep cuts from his two albums, Chaos and the Calm and Electric Light with his biggest hits spread out of a very full 90 minutes.
To say the night was filled with great moments still feels like an understatement. Over the course of the night, I watched two best friends turn to each other, lock hands and jump up-and-down in excitement when Bay began playing “Move Together,” felt goosebumps cover my entire body when he belted his 2x platinum hit “Let It Go,” and even stood next to a 90 year-old-man when he began dancing & singing along to Bay’s own cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” (VIDEO) that included two minute-long guitar solos over the course of the six minute rendition.
Following “Come Together”, Bay topped fans off with the uptempo “Best Fake Smile” (VIDEO), then leaving the stage for a few minutes before returning by himself for a solo performance of a brand new tune, “Bad,” that has yet to be released. He addressed his fans before playing, telling them “I have two things on my side…the beauty is this: You don’t know the song, so if I fuck it up, you don’t know. And the other thing is, you’ve got my back, and I feel it, so thank you. So here it goes…”
He did not fuck it up:
After “Bad,” he didn’t waste much time re-introducing his band before jumping into the finale, inevitably gearing up for a blowout ending with “Hold Back The River” that led to a minute-long standing ovation as Bay thanked fans again for being a part of two special nights at The Beacon.