On Oct. 4, a haze floated beneath the Crescent Ballroom’s glass double doors, through the wood polished bar, and out onto the street with whispers of a new iconic voice in music — Noah Cyrus.
The Hardest Part Tour is officially off to a fiery start in Phoenix. Fresh off her debut album, “The Hardest Part,” Cyrus set the tone for her 23-stop North American tour with a sold out show at the Crescent Ballroom. The iconic venue, constructed in 1917, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as one of Arizonans’ favorite places for live music. The landmark brick building has seen the likeness of artists such as Dua Lipa, LANY, Vince Staples, Glass Animals and more.
The 22-year-old musician, who has previously worked with artists including XXXTentacion, Leon Bridges and MØ, gained notoriety during the COVID-19 pandemic with her song “July.” Complementary to her previous body of work, “THE END OF EVERYTHING,” Cyrus seems to have truly come into her skin with “The Hardest Part.” The album, reminiscent of sounds from her Nashville roots, delves into intimate aspects of the artist’s life, such as substance abuse, loss and toxic relationships, with a softness unique to her own. While other artists might choose to rip into these themes with aggression, Cyrus’ intimate melodies softly unfold the darkness of life.
Much like her music, Cyrus’ tour is most accurately described as an incredibly intimate experience. Cyrus’ opener, Gigi, filled the packed venue with honey laced melodies, and it’s no mystery why Cyrus chose the emerging artist to kick off her show. Most known for her single “Sometimes,” Gigi opened up to the crowd about the rawness of her life and the intimate struggles shared in her music.
When 9 p.m. rolled around, and the streets were illuminated by the glow of the Phoenix city lights, the Crescent Ballroom was christened in the name of Noah Cyrus. As the crowd roared and the stage lights flickered, Cyrus, accompanied by a band, stepped out into the light wearing a black, long-sleeved velvet dress. Excited fans crammed themselves as close to the stage as possible and filled the ballroom wall to wall. As Cyrus’ voice rang out into the night, the audience seemed to knit themselves together into one body, and breathed to the rhythm of her music.
The night was especially raw with the tragic passing of Cyrus’ hero and Hollywood icon, Loretta Lynn, earlier that day. Cyrus, still grieving, dedicated “Loretta’s Song” to Lynn and opened up to the audience about the late artist’s influence on her work. The song, originally a tribute to her late grandmother, Loretta Jean Palmer Finley, was therefore dedicated “to the Lorettas.”
As Cyrus wrapped up an emotional night for everyone, she thanked her audience for their support through her music journey and disappeared off stage. However, in true star fashion, she was quickly roped back on to the floor for an encore performance, cheered on by an audience not ready to say goodnight. Her closing songs echoed softly into the night, and when the house lights came on, and the ballroom emptied out, Cyrus’ melodies carried us home.
Though the show may be over, the tour has just begun. Cyrus will continue to dazzle audiences across the country until early November, where she’ll wrap up her tour at the Wiltern in Los Angeles.
Interested in going? Tickets are still on sale at noahcyrus.com.