Fans celebrated the release of Noah Cyrus’s new album The Hardest Part at Summit Music Hall this Halloween. Cyrus bridges the gap between her father Billy Ray’s country roots and her sister Miley’s pop hits. Her debut studio album was released on September 16, after seven years in the making. On Monday night, fans sang, laughed and cried during Cyrus’s heart-on-her-sleeve performance. Noah Cyrus is a powerful talent whose voice could easily fill a venue the size of Red Rocks or Ball Arena but whose warmth and personality made the crowd at Summit feel like they were watching an intimate underground set.
The show began with a set from singer-songwriter Gigi, whose style was perfectly in line with fans of Cyrus. Gigi appeared in a chic leather nun costume followed by her three masked bandmates. Summit was already packed as her set began — this sold-out show had fans lined up from Blake Street to Market, and they continued to pour in as she performed. A cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Radio” was a highlight for the crowd, as Gigi sang with both an operatic style and folk-inspired twang. Her sultry voice was reminiscent of Stevie Nicks but also uniquely hers. Gigi threw the veil of her nun’s habit into the crowd (her bandmates followed with their masks) as she exited the stage, leaving fans primed for Cyrus’s set.
Costume-clad fans gladly spent their Halloween embodying Cyrus’s country roots, donning cowboy hats and cow prints. Cyrus’s backdrop was, of course, reminiscent of the album art for The Hardest Part, which managed to somehow capture the nostalgia of a childhood home in a rural field while hanging in the middle of downtown Denver.
Cyrus and her bandmates went all out for their Halloween show, wearing dark hooded cloaks and capes, followed by Cyrus in a slinky black dress that complimented her long black hair. Her neck was painted red matching an elegant drop of blood falling from her lips. A pre-show Instagram post from Cyrus called her look, “The Countess Inspired Glam.” Energy ran high as Cyrus and her band opened with “Stand Still” followed by “Mr. Percocet,” her second single off the new album.
It was immediately obvious that Cyrus has stadium-level vocals while maintaining a stage presence that was so down-to-earth and personable, fans felt like friends. While performing “Liar,” Cyrus sat on the stage and serenaded her front-row fans. Later in the set, she addressed a “new friend” in that same section, reassuring the fan that she knew what she was going through. Cyrus urged fans to share the next song and the rest of the set with her in a way where everyone could lean on each other through the beauty and pain of her lyrics and the collective experience. Cyrus seamlessly tied together her execution of the songs “The Best of You” and “The Worst of You” from her EP with PJ Harding released in 2021, adding another highlight to the evening.
Noah Cyrus is not shy about the themes of heartbreak, love, addiction and growth in her lyrics. “Leading up to releasing this record, I really felt that I’d gone too far, I’d gotten too personal with this inner dialogue in my head that no one else can relate to and I learned very quickly that that’s not true… I appreciate all the love y’all have shown me on this album and these songs. They’ve all come out of a really hurt place about this one person,” Cyrus explained as she lead into “My Side of the Bed.”
Cyrus referenced, “this one person that [she] can’t stop writing about, and will keep writing about” many times throughout the evening. Her raw emotion and vulnerability added to the intimate vibe, reassuring fans that the lyrics weren’t just her story but all of ours.
The depth of Cyrus’s lyrics and emotion was well balanced by a childlike excitement to spend Halloween in Denver. Cyrus admitted it was hard for her to get through the set without sharing her excitement about her fans’ costumes. She later gave a shout-out to Spongebob and Patrick and was ecstatic to spot Squidward as well. The maturity of Cyrus’s vocals and lyrics combined with her young, free spirit fostered an atmosphere where fans felt free to express a range of emotions.
The second half of her set transported fans back in time with the songs “I Got So High That I Saw Jesus” and a cover of “I’ll Fly Away,” shifting the atmosphere from a big city concert to a Southern gospel-style Sunday morning. Cyrus is a pro at bending genres with her sound and collaborations, which was clear in her performance of “Again” as she pulled away from indie folk and towards more EDM influences. As Cyrus finished off her set with fan favorite “July,” she took the time mid-song to hand out setlists — continuing to make the crowd feel like her close friends rather than fans and strangers. As she exited, the Summit remained packed while fans demanded an encore and gratefully welcomed her back for three more songs.
Noah Cyrus laughed, danced and shared her heart through her entire set, leaving fans both star-struck by her talent and comforted by her warmth and humility. It was an unforgettable Halloween night for everyone in attendance.