By Caleigh Wells
Barns Courtney — Revitalizing rock in roll in a new, refreshing way.
I’m going to start off by being honest– I didn’t know who Barns Courtney was until my local alternative radio station, KSRG, reached out, inviting Heart Eyes to hang out with the singer around some hot Austin spots. Because of an exam (thanks a lot, college!), I wasn’t able to attend, but I promised to go to his show later that night.
Courtney was playing in a bar downtown, and after getting X’s sharpied on both of my hands, I entered the dark venue and was surprised to see the amount of youths like myself among the older twenty-somethings who came to bars like these on Thursday nights. The girls in front of me were even talking about Harry Styles when I walked up to the stage.
Even before Courtney came on, the opening acts were phenomenal. Craig Stickland– a singer hailing all the way from Canada– reminded me of Ed Sheeran before he went pop, and then there was Mobley, one of the most unique, energetic, and interactive opening artists I have ever seen. They both did a fantastic job of getting the crowd ready for Barns Courtney and his band.
When Barns Courtney finally came on, the crowd was ecstatic and ready to rock with the three piece band of drums, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar. With a raspy deep voice beyond his age, Courtney’s sound is a mixture of old rock and roll and today’s acoustic alternative scene. From inspiring songs that sound like they need to be in a climactic movie scene like “Champion”, to his mellow, acoustic, deeply personal song “Little Boy”, there’s a sound in every song on the setlist everyone can enjoy.
The show was filled with boot-stomping, head-banging energy that left everyone an adrenaline-filled, sweaty mess – especially Barns. The amount of energy he puts into his show is visible in his appearance by the end of the set– hair, shirt, face, everything soaked with sweat. He warns people before the show to avoid the “splash zone”, or the front row, where you’re bound to get splashed with sweat as Barns bangs his head during his guitar solos (unless you’re into that, like the girls that lined the front row before the stage).
Despite his rockstar energy and stage persona, Barns Courtney is a humble, funny, and friendly artist who takes the time to meet and thank the attendees of his show. He makes an effort to remember names and faces and holds genuine conversations with those who talk to him. He even asked to hang out after the show, but unfortunately, with a paper due the next morning, it was my cue to leave. Barns kindly signed my setlist and gave me one last sweaty hug. The setlist is now on my dorm wall, reminding me of the great show he put on.
Before his tour is up, go see Barns Courtney along with his crazy amazing support artists, Craig Stickland and Mobley. They all have sounds anyone of any age can enjoy, and won’t fail to leave you entertained and stocked with new, incredible music.
You can find all the artists mentioned on Spotify!