Tuesday was just one of those days. It was just an odd day for me all together, so I was really looking forward to my scheduled group therapy session at Le Belmont to see Noah Gundersen. Listening to music in itself is already a very therapeutic thing to do. However, nothing compares to going to a Noah Gundersen show. The amount of emotion and intimacy you get at his shows is unfathomable. Take it from me – this was my third time seeing this man live, and it still takes me a few days after the fact to get a hold on my emotions. While we are on the subject of therapy, both bands that night teamed up with the CAMH Foundation, who help fund mental health care, treatment, research, and education, to raise mental health awareness. Forms to donate to this organization were available at the merch table. Just seeing how more and more people are able to talk about mental health issues gives me so much hope for the future.
Erik Walters, lead singer and main force behind Seattle’s Silver Torches, opened up the show with a solo acoustic set. The best way I can describe Erik’s voice is a mix between Noah Gundersen and Matt Mays – very smooth but raspy at the same time, and full of emotion. Singing songs like “I Can’t Lie” and “If I Reach” from his new album Let It Be a Dream. Walters was amazing to watch. I was happy to see the venue decently packed to watch him play. All in all the crowd was being very attentive, apart from a couple next to me who felt the need to laugh out loud and talk about Mumford & Sons (for god knows what reason). Other than those people it was the perfect way to open up the show and I already felt at peace after my bad day.
As the crowd got more and more packed, I got increasingly restless. A projection faced the stage displaying a variety of white noise, which I thought was very clever seeing as Noah Gundersen’s newest album is titled White Noise. The band took the stage not long after that, opening the set with “After All (Everything All the Time).” There is something about his shows that gets to me every time. I think the main reason is that he is one of the few musicians I’ve seen live that plays and sings with so much emotion it’s almost heartbreaking to watch. But like a car crash, you can’t look away. That night was the first time I ever heard him play “Day is Gone” (a song he wrote for Sons of Anarchy) live, which is a heart-wrenching song in itself. But for it to be immediately followed by “First Defeat” felt like being double punched in the gut. But I gotta say, it was worth it.
By the end of the night, I had gone through the emotional ringer, which is how I like to feel after going to a show (a good one, at least). I have loved Gundersen’s work for a long time and I truly love the intimacy that you get at his shows. It makes the experience even more personal. If any of you reading this have the opportunity to watch him live: Take it. You will NOT regret it.
And if you would like to know more about CAMH please visit their website.
Written and Photographed by Stacy Basque
*edited by Kate Erickson