Review of Medium Build's Concert at Cat's Cradle Back Room 3/24/23 | Lucas Hozza
You can always trust Medium Build to provide a highly energetic, yet therapeutic performance that’ll make it a night to remember. That was the experience that myself, along with many others, had on Friday night in Carrboro, NC. Medium Build performed to a sold out crowd with opener Zinadelphia at Cat’s Cradle Back Room while on the “Health and Wellness Tour'' to promote his most recent EP entitled Health.
The man behind the Medium Build name is Nick Carpenter. Joining him on stage is Paul Rogers, a touring member, collaborator, and good friend of Carpenter. Hailing from Alaska, Medium Build has quickly built a strong and dedicated fan base throughout the United States. I first saw him perform last September when he opened for Briston Maroney, where I instantly fell in love with him and his music. That seems to have been the case for a lot of people who attended this show, since the majority of the crowd raised their hand when he asked “Who here was at the Briston show last fall?”
Beginning the show by coming onto stage sporting wacky blue framed glasses and then donning a cowboy hat provided by a fan from the crowd, it became evident before a song even began that personality plays a big role in a Medium Build performance. Starting off the set with the song “Gimme Back My Soul” off of Health, Carpenter set the tone for the rest of the night by playing an upbeat song with emotional undertones. A major point that is unique to a Medium Build live performance compared to listening to his released discography is that each song performed live is given 200% more energy and passion, creating an emotional and raw experience for the crowd to connect with. During the song “Rage,” Carpenter urged everyone in the room to let out any pent up anger, resentment, or frustration by screaming at the top of their lungs during the chorus. That was definitely one of the most therapeutic moments of the night. Other songs such as “Day Forgives” and “Especially Me” are slower, but were clearly performed with passion and respect, serving as a nice interlude for the night.
In between the songs, there were many crowd interactions that made the night even more special. Whether it was when Carpenter would jokingly say “Hell yeah, brother” in a deep southern accent because he loves doing that when playing shows in the south, being gifted a “Medium Build x UNC” sweatshirt from a fan, or when he spotted a person in the crowd and recognized them as being the first person that made a TikTok using one of his songs, there was a string of interactions with one person in particular that was even more memorable. A seven year old girl would scream from the balcony after every song saying things like “You’re such a good singer!” and “That was so good!” It was the sweetest thing. She said that she wanted to be a singer just like him one day, and the song writing advice that Carpenter gave her was, “Don’t think too hard about it. That’s why songs are so cool, they don’t have to make sense.”
Even though the show sold out, this was the smallest concert I’ve ever attended. That being said, I also think it was one of the most special because of the intimate feeling that was shared in that room through everyone singing, dancing, screaming and the constant engagement that Carpenter had with the crowd. I highly recommend it to anyone who gets the chance to see Medium Build live. He’s recently been announced as an opener for Lewis Capaldi’s upcoming tour, and I hope that means that he’s going to get the love and attention that he truly deserves as an artist. He is the most underrated and unique artist that I have ever seen live and I’ll continue to be following him on his musical journey.