Concert Review: Noah Gundersen at Wonder Ballroom on November 12th
Written by Robin on November 13, 2019
“Noah Gundersen is an American indie folk singer-songwriter from Seattle”, is the description one finds when looking up his name on the internet. That must have been true for previous albums, as his newest release Lover from August 23rd of 2019 seems far from being a folk album. It still has a folky side to it, yet contains many synthetic beats and electronic features. But who says not fitting a certain category is a bad thing? Noah certainly doesn’t feel that way, as he expressed during his show when he said there is nothing wrong in the way we are, that we are all different, all flawed in our own ways and that there is no problem with that.
In fact, a similar message had already been delivered previously. Before the show started, Noah’s friend came on stage to talk about his engegement with To Write Love On Her Arms – a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. It was refreshing hearing someone say mental illness is a topic we should discuss openly, that there is nothing to be ashamed of in dealing with depression as the individuals are just as helpless with mental illness as all of us are when dealing with physical medical conditions… Please click here if you would like to learn more about To Write Love On Her Arms.
When Noah Gundersen came out on stage, he had the charisma of a pop artist. He seemed confident, enjoyed himself dancing, filling the stage with just a band and simple strips of LED lights to add visual movement. It seemed like he didn’t need much more to fill the room, stayed on track even after he accidentally dropped the mic while singing, effortlessly navigating the entire spectrum from soft whispering up to singing from the top of his lungs. He is an entertainer, yet he engages with his fans. Complaining about how his voice slowly gave up on him towards the end of the concert, someone shoutet he should drink more water. His response: “Drink more what?”. The room was laughing, you could tell he had the audience on his side. It became even more clear that most people in the crowd did not just stop by coincidentally when Noah asked who had been to his concerts before. Even when he asked who had seen him for the third time or more, a good chunk of people put their hands in the air.
Noah’s music might have changed but he is able to keep his audience listening. As PSU’s Vanguard had put it in their episode from November 5th, “compared to previous albums, this feels like Gundersen’s most vulnerable work”. That seems to be something people want to see and hear – artists who are authentic, who are not afraid to present who they are. No wonder their style of music changes over the years, because so do we as people. And so does Noah Gundersen.