For an up-and-coming solo artist like Barns Courtney, it’s difficult to predict what you’ll get out of a show. His ongoing Shoestring Tour is the first real time that he’s performed his own material with supporting instrumentation. In addition, it’s his first major headlining tour. If you’ve ever listened you know that he produces a sound truly his own- a combination of blues, rock, pop, and folk. However, those unique sounds are currently only released through six songs, all dropped within this last year.
Barns Courtney has been pursuing a career in music for years now, but is only just now being given the chance that he has been working for. It goes without saying that he has a lot riding on this tour and his newest releases. Columbus has always been an accepting place for new music, and this proved no different when Courtney gave it his all on June 12 at the A&R Music Bar.
Indie-rock trio Foxtrax opened up for Courtney, and with some effort, managed to get a majority of the crowd moving and dancing. Concert-goers definitely varied in age range which was made pretty obvious throughout their performance. Barns Courtney opened up his set with 2 never before heard songs, ‘Hobo Rocket’ and ‘Never Let You Down,’ pausing in between to squeeze the half-full audience together to take a clip of everyone cheering. A brilliant way of also bringing everyone together and closer to the stage.
He then followed through with his first ever solo track, ‘Glitter & Gold.’ This being more familiar, definitely got the crowd going. The best part about watching Courtney perform is that if he has any insecurities about being reasonably new to the scene, he doesn’t show it. He is his own hype man, and can turn up the crowd just as easily as he can take it to a level of calmness. It was a treat to hear a rhythmic and intimate acoustic of, also new, ‘Hard To Be Alone.’
Courtney closed out his 12-song set with latest release, ‘Golden Dandelions’ as well as the popular radio-played hit, ‘Fire.’ This included a hype break in the middle of ‘Fire’ where he asks everyone in the audience to crouch down to the floor, and give their remaining time together everything that they had, on his startup. “I want you to look at the person beside you, and make out passionately with them,“ Courtney mused. Although that might not have happened, once he started back up again the audience became a sea of one. There was crashing, stomping, clapping, and hands raised high to the low-sitting A&R ceilings. All movements that were deemed perfect for the unique sound of Barns Courtney.
Courtney is touring in the U.S. for the remainder of June. If you can’t make it to see him this time around, stay tuned! He is in the process of producing his first full length album.