"You're my first ever concert, gnash!" shouted a kid no older than 10 at the front of the stage.
His declaration came just after a girl toward the back hollered "You cured my depression."
Set to the backdrop of selections from his debut album we, on Sunday night gnash transformed the Bronze Peacock Room at House of Blues into a group therapy session with a couple hundred of his devoted fans as part of his Broken Hearts Club Tour.
The stage was lined with tinsel, anchored by a dead center neon sign of a heart split in two. For the night, the venue was known as 'The Broken Hearts Club.'a
"We put our hearts back together in this room," gnash told the crowd.
The bulk of his lyrics tackle his own mental illness, but you wouldn't have known it from energetic set opener "imagine if." He leapt with the ecstatic crowd while they waved their hands side to side, singing the words back to him.
He immediately juxtaposed the opening number's exuberance with a shortened version of his most notable radio hit "i hate u, i love u." Placing the sullen Top 40 hit early on in the set was a strategic move, considering the night's themes of decided celebration and self-acceptance.
The young crowd made the most of an extended church-like call and response during "tell me it's okay." Exactly how many times they sang "Tell me it's okay / To be happy now" is anyone's guess, but they seemed happy reiterating the sentiment.
Midway through the show, gnash played the role of life coach to his audience, attempting to provide them with a meditative retreat via group breath. If he hadn't established the night's group counseling vibe by this point, the message was loud and clear now.
He threw a guitar pick to the kid in the front row at his first concert before giving a mock guitar masterclass from the stage, encouraging the young fan to learn his G chord. "It's the most important chord," said gnash. For at least one concertgoer, that might have been the best piece of advice he gave all night.
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