Barns Courtney overcomes underwhelming attendance numbers to deliver an overwhelming performance.
Barns Courtney is back in a post-Covid world better than ever. Fresh off the release of his first single since his 2020 acoustic EP, Hard To Be Alone, Courtney seems posed to make a new name for himself after past success. His new single, "Supernatural," sees a more confident, more polished, Courtney take aim at arena crowds.
Birmingham local The Lie Within Callie opened up the show. Barns doesn't appear to have any touring support, instead opting for a local opener at each stop. Callie's set showcased a mix of performative dance and nightmare pop. Her set was largely tracks, allowing her and her backup dancers to focus on the performance. The Lie Within Callie is unique in her sound and style, making it a standout opening set.
Barns Courtney is a (super)natural star. Despite the small crowd, probably only around 25% of Saturn's 500 person capacity, Barns gave attendees one of the most energized and ravenous performances I've seen on the Birmingham stage. Pure adrenaline raced through Courtney all night, and the crowd ate it up. While small, the crowd took all the energy from the band and projected it back towards the stage five-fold.
Courtney's onstage antics were something out of a 70s rock-doc. From climbing into the rafters of Saturn to surfing the crowd, Barns Courtney couldn't be contained to one spot for long. His command of the stage and audience was remarkable, it felt like the energy of an arena show inside of a club venue. There was never a dull moment across his entire set.
The only complaint sonically from Barns' set was his heavy breathing after some of his more intense moments of showmanship, and completely understandable slip too given what he was doing. Besides that, everything sounded spot on, especially since his bass player had to be replaced on short notice, leaving his bassist for the night only a day to learn the entire set. Courtney and his band fired on all cylinders and kept things in sync throughout the night.
Barns Courtney is a powerhouse live. His set will stick with me for many years to come based off of his performance alone. Courtney is a textbook example, the artist to match, when it comes to stages presence and onstage energy. I had a good time, the crowd had a great time, and Barns Courtney had a fantastic time.
A crisp one hour set felt short, but the wild performance still left the audience leaving exhausted. The three-hit-run Courtney and his band went on towards the end of the night, "You and I," "99," and "Golden Dandelions," capped the night of with a massive bang.
1. London Girls
2. Fun Never Ends
4. Wanna be a Star
5. Hobo Rocker
7. Little Boy
8. Glitter & Gold
10. You and I
12. Golden Dandelions
Barns Courtney still has 28 dates left on his North American tour. I genuinely hope that the rest of his shows sell better than Birmingham, a notoriously difficult market, as his performance is one you don't want to miss. You can find the rest of Courtney's dates below;
10/01 Nashville, TN — Eastside Bowl
10/03 Charlotte, NC — The Underground
10/05 Washington D.C. — Lincoln Theatre
10/07 Philadelphia, PA — Union Transfer
10/08 Boston, MA — Paradise Rock Club
10/10 Albany, NY — Empire Live
10/12 New York, NY — The Studio at Webster Hall
10/14 Harrisburg, PA — XL Live
10/15 Toronto, ON — Phoenix Concert Theatre
10/17 Cleveland, OH — House of Blues
10/18 Detroit, MI — Saint Andrews Hall
10/19 Pittsburg, PA — Stage AE
10/21 Columbus, OH — Newport Music Hall
10/22 Louisville, KY — Headliners Music Hall
10/24 Chicago, IL — Park West
10/25 Minneapolis, MN — Fine Line Music Cafe
10/27 Omaha, NE — Waiting Room Lounge
10/28 St. Louis, MO — Delmar Hall
11/01 Denver, CO — Summit Music Hall
11/02 Salt Lake City, UT — The Urban Lounge
11/04 San Diego, CA — House of Blues
11/05 Santa Ana, CA — Observatory
11/08 Los Angelos, CA — El Rey Theatre
11/09 San Francisco, CA — August Hall
11/11 Portland, OR — Wonder Ballroom
11/12 Seattle, WA — The Showbox
Barns Courtney has it all; the star power, the hits, and the performance. His show was stellar from front to back, loaded with the spirit of classic rockers before him and the hooks of a modern arena act. His joy in the face of a disappointing crowd on compounded what I took from his performance, that he is an incredible entertainer and bound to go far in his career.