Noah Gundersen at The Opera House

With a tour every year for almost as long as I can remember, Noah Gundersen has developed a home on the road. He’s evidently created something up here in Toronto, too, playing his largest venue in the city to date. While usually drumming for Noah, his brother Jonny Gundersen opened the show on guitar and vocals this time. Between Jonny and their sister Abby, there always seems to be a family element to Noah’s shows. On this run, however, Noah was the only Gundersen on stage during his set, backed by fellow bandmates in another project of his called Young in the City.

Noah played through the majority of his latest release, Lover, while the lighting and strobes set the vibe of each song. Visually, the colour tones paralleled much of what is seen in the Robin Williams and Lover music videos, which was extremely satisfying to watch. With deep oranges and blues, the warmth of his voice just shattered through the air. In a venue with a fairly busy bar, not even the crack of a beer can was heard. He played Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You, dedicated to Canada, and everyone in the room was feeling the love.

This era of Noah is mature and the intricacies of his performance are executed with intention. In moments of audible build-up, he let go of the tight vocals, and highly emotive singing took over with bursts of punk screams as he collapsed to the floor. Every movement in his set was poignant and effective. One thing that is consistent at every Noah Gundersen show is that there will be catharsis. As much as his striking and heavy words takeover the room, you will always walk out of it feeling a little bit lighter, and that’s the power of a brilliant songwriter.

Setlist:
1. Robin Williams
2. Crystal Creek
3. Heavy Metals
4. Lose You
5. Watermelon
6. Out of Time
7. Older
8. Jesus, Jesus (solo)
9. A Case of You (Joni Mitchell cover, solo)
10. Annie (Young in the City song)
11. So What
12. The Sound
13. Send the Rain (To Everyone)
14. Bad Desire
15. Wild Horses
16. Kamikaze
17. Lover

Encore:
18. All My Friends

Morgan Hotston

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