Noah Kahan performing at Railbird 2024

Noah Kahan Brings Out Hozier and Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz During Hit-Filled Railbird Festival 2024 Set

June 2, 2024 4:21 pm GMT

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Noah Kahan pierced through the bleak, stormy clouds at the first day of Railbird Festival 2024 in Lexington, Kentucky with a deeply evocative, hit-packed headline set.

When considering which country or folk artists have enjoyed the most meteoric rises in recent years, Lainey Wilson and Jelly Roll seem to be the names on everyone's lips.

However, when standing in a 40,000-strong crowd all belting out the lyrics to each song from an artist few of us had even heard of this time last year, it's hard to look past Noah as the break-out star of 2024. The Vermont artist brought out Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz to sing ‘Long December’ and - to a rapturous response - his good friend Hozier to deliver their much-loved duet, ‘Northern Attitude’.

But even when Duritz and Hozier took the stage, the spotlight remained firmly on Noah. A year ago, Hozier joining Noah would've been a folk legend gracing an up-and-comer with a co-sign; now, it's two of the genre's leading figures colliding for a blockbuster duet.

He rattled through infectious earworms, ‘Dial Drunk’, ‘New Perspective’, ‘Everywhere, Everything’ and ‘She Calls Me Back’ early in the set, barely giving the audience a chance to breathe as he surged from one crowd-wide sing-a-long to the next.

Noah Kahan has perfected the art of catharsis, with even his uptempo offerings carrying a sense of aching and yearning. The most affecting moments, though, arrived during his beautifully stripped-back tracks, with ‘You're Gonna Go Far’, ‘Paul Revere’ and ‘Orange Juice’ all giving Noah a chance to showcase his dexterous vocals and visceral lyricism, the latter in particular drawing tears from many watching on.

What was most noticeable is how seamlessly Noah Kahan can flit between deeply resonant profundity, as he nimbly navigates themes of mental health, sobriety and heartbreak, and laugh-out-loud levity and humour, with Noah showcasing his warm, playful personality in-between tracks - such as when he demanded the crowd put their hands up, before shouting, “Now give me all your money!”

He was self-effacing as ever, nodding to the fact that 2022's Stick Season brought him swathes of new fans, joking that if anyone in the crowd didn't know the words to his earlier single, ‘False Confidence’, his bodyguard would come and beat them up.

At various points during his performances, Noah Kahan takes on the status of a modern-day idol, with legions of fans coming to pay homage to a man that offers solace and healing through his music, and at other moments, Noah seems like a friend you'd want to share a beer with, who just happens to write music in his spare time.

Whether you see him as an uber-relatable everyman or a poetic genius, one thing's for sure - his Railbird set served as a reminder that, in 2024, it doesn't get any bigger than Noah Kahan.

As is emphasised by his stirring rendition of ’The Great Divide’, a keenly awaited unreleased track expected to feature on Noah's Stick Season (Forever) follow-up, the chart-topping singer-songwriter is showing no signs of slowing down as he continues his ascent.

Noah Kahan's setlist at Railbird Festival in Lexington, Kentucky on June 1st, 2024

  • Dial Drunk
  • New Perspective
  • Everywhere, Everything
  • She Calls Me Back
  • You're Gonna Go Far
  • A Long December (cover of Counting Crows, with Adam Duritz from Counting Crows)
  • False Confidence
  • Forever
  • Growing Sideways
  • Paul Revere
  • All My Love
  • Northern Attitude (with Hozier)
  • The Great Divide (unreleased)
  • Orange Juice
  • Homesick
  • The View Between Villages
  • Stick Season


  • Young Blood

For more on Noah Kahan, see below:

Photography by Charles Reagen, Courtesy of Railbird Festival

Written by Maxim Mower
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