Concert Review: Noah Gunderson

by Jacob Millay

Noah Gunderson has been a consistent figure on campus for the last couple of years, as well in the rest of the Pacific Northwest. Every couple of months, he stops by to play a show in various venues around campus. This is not a complaint. In fact, it is just the opposite.

Although this is not the first time Gunderson has played on campus, the turnout for his concert was as good or better than many of the other concerts around campus. And this year was no different, with around 125 people showing up for his concert.

Noah Gunderson has been playing music since roughly 2006. This entire time has been mish mash of different bands and projects for Gunderson, although his solo work seems to have gotten him the most acclaim. His most recent album, Ledges, was released in February, 2014. The album has gotten mostly positive reviews, and it has a 72 overall score on Metacritic.

He is also releasing a new extended play (mini album) on this fall tour.

Simon Puzankov, Photographer

Furthermore, if you missed his free show on Whitworth’s campus, you could have seen him at the Bartlett on Oct. 13, but his show is sold out. Bummer.

The show was held at Pirate’s Cove, which is a hidden little stage with some grandstands behind East Hall toward the Back 40. It was an outdoor concert, and it was a chilly night. The temperature was 45 degrees, although it seemed that everyone who attended the concert came prepared.

“It was a brisk night,” freshman Amy Chang said. “But the concert was still really good.”

Noah Gunderson played for around and hour and a half and he played songs from all of his albums, including one from his new E.P. and a cover/rewriting of the Nirvana classic Smells Like Teen Spirit. His sister Abbi Gunderson accompanied him for the majority of the songs, playing violin and adding vocal harmonies.

Gunderson is very comfortable on the stage, and even though most of his songs have a melancholy feel, that didn’t stop him from cracking some jokes in between songs. In one instance, Gunderson said that even though it was cold, the sadness of his songs would keep the listeners warm. He also compared the stage he was playing on to a camp talent show, with his sister and him being the counselors displaying their talents.

The show itself was succinct and flew by. The sound was done well, and despite being outside with ambient noise around, it was easy to hear the individual parts of each song, although there were not many parts to be heard because the set was stripped down to only two instruments and two voices.

The only distraction for the show was the lights that were used to light the stage. Between each song, the color of the lights would change. In a larger setting, this may have passed off as background information, but on a small stage, outside, in the dark, it was very obvious when the lights would change. Rather than adding an interesting effect to each song, it only served to distract the audience. At certain points, the color would shift from a soft white to a glaring purple or green in the blink of the eye, and it only distracted from the main attraction of the event, which was the music.

Outside from the light work, the show was very smooth, and Gunderson put on a great, simple show that people could come and enjoy regardless of if they were familiar with his music.

“Seeing Noah Gunderson is kind of a prerequisite for attending Whitworth,” sophomore Riley Loudenback said. “It was a super cool show.”

Gunderson even remarked on how many times he has played at Whitworth, saying that this was probably “the millionth time.” But if he keeps on coming back, people will still come out to see him.

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