Only being in the scene as a solo artist since 2015, this 28-year-old musician has made quite a name for himself. He moved on past the bands he was a part of and started really focusing on his own music career. After releasing his first track, ”Glitter & Gold,” he took the music world by storm.

Barns Courtney has shown that he can really make a statement with his musical career whether it’s jumping off the stage and breaking his foot or making a scene of being pushed in a hospital bed with said broken foot by a nurse onto the stage. He has also shown his breakthrough by touring all over the world opening for legendary headliners like The Who, Ed Sheeran, The Lumineers and more. He continues to make his presence known by joining in on The Kooks spring tour. Last night, they have made it toward the end leg of their U.S. tour with a stop at Chicago’s The Riveria Theatre.

As the first opener, FUTURE FEATS, wrapped up, people started to fill the venue in preparation to see Barns Courtney. You could tell that FUTURE FEATS were quite nervous and didn’t really reel in the crowd with their performance. They were a pretty gimmicky act that fell lackluster for the audience. However, when the time for the second opener rolled around, the mood of the place did a complete 180. Right from the start, Barns Courtney warmed up the stage for the Kooks to the highest degree. People went from just talking over the opener to moving and grooving to every beat.

He drew people in right away with his rockstar persona. As he started off the set with “Hellfire,” the dark lighting personified himself as the brooding, mysterious rocker. His glam rock outfit attributed to this as well as he worked the ensemble of a cheetah print button-up, leather fringe jacket, headband, ankle boots and shaggy hair. He continued to show this facade with his moves. He was swinging his microphone from his teeth. He crowds surfed and literally just laid back like it was no big deal and continued to sing “Kicks.” He rolled around on the stage floor and really just put it all out there and definitely showed he came to entertain and perform.

As soon as he stepped onto the stage, every inch of his body felt the music from deep inside as he marched around, wobbled his body and headbanged to the beat. Even when he had his guitar hanging from his shoulder it didn’t handicap him from working the stage with his moves. His energy radiated all the way to the last row of the balcony and totally got the audience mesmerized. It’s like he awoke them from their slump and shot their energy levels up to the highest. Looking around you could see the majority of the crowd was dancing, singing and enjoying every second of him on stage. It helped too that he loved feeling out the crowd and getting them involved with clapping, jumping and singing along.

As the set went on, he started to sing his well-known tunes and the ones with the most radio play like “99” and his closing song, “Fire.” Although his songs feel a little bit resembling, his stage presence and vocal performance totally helped overlook it. For the most part, his voice sounded gruff in a good way, but when he hit the higher notes it was powerful and quite impressive.

As the band hit their last notes and Barns Courtney raised his arms in victory after his set, people were hyped up and excited for the rest of the night. With that being said, Barns Courtney definitely set the night up for success and did his job right as an opener. When he makes his way back to Chicago, new fans will for sure be coming his way.


London Girls (Unreleased)
Hollow (Unreleased)
You & I
Glitter & Gold
Golden Dandelions

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Photos © 2019 by: Roman Sobus


Barns Courtney – 2019 Tour Dates
All dates are supporting The Kooks

2/11 | Oakland, CA | Fox Theater
2/12 | Los Angeles, CA | Hollywood Palladium
2/14 | Dallas, TX | House of Blues
2/15 | Austin, TX | Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
2/16 | Houston, TX | White Oak Music Hall
2/18 | Nashville, TN | Cannery Ballroom
2/19 | Atlanta, GA | Buckhead Theater
2/21 | Chicago, IL | Riviera Theatre
2/22 | Cincinnati, OH | Bogarts
2/23 | Columbus, OH | Newport Music Hall
2/25 | Clifton Park, NY | Upstate Concert Hall
2/26 | Boston, MA | Orpheum Theatre
2/28 | New York, NY | Terminal 5
3/2 | Annapolis, MD | Rams Head Live!