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Show Review: Medium Build’s AZ headliner brings intimate performance to sold out crowd

Monday night at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix was a night to remember, as fans packed the sold out venue to experience the magic of Medium Build. With a capacity of only 300, the intimate setting provided the perfect backdrop for an evening filled with heartfelt performances and deep connections.

The night began with Rosie Rush, a singer-songwriter hailing all the way from Anchorage, Alaska. Armed with just her guitar and a powerful voice, Rush delivered a set of deeply emotional tunes that resonated with the audience. “I’m used to playing for my ex-boyfriend,” she shared with a laugh, appreciating the attentive crowd. Her set was punctuated with poignant moments, such as dedicating a song to her mother who was diagnosed with cancer, and proudly introducing another song with, “This song is called Willa because I’m gay”. Although Rush doesn’t have any music released yet, her performance made it clear that she’s one to watch. “This is the quietest crowd I’ve ever played for,” she marveled, noting the venue’s intimacy. “This is a great venue to see Medium Build because ya’ll are CLOSE!”

As Medium Build took the stage, the energy in the room shifted. Playing in such a small space meant the audience was face to face with Nick Carpenter, creating an incredibly personal and immersive experience. He opened with “Beach Chair”, the first track from his latest album Country, immediately captivating the crowd with his raw, passionate vocals and heartfelt lyrics. Carpenter played almost the entirety of Country, weaving in hits from his previous discography, including fan favorites “Rage” and “Gimme Back My Soul”. The audience sang along to every single song, creating a palpable sense of unity and shared emotion.

Carpenter’s performance was more than just music, it was a communal experience. Between songs, he spoke candidly about his life, his journey away from and back to finding community and the inspiration behind the music. He shared how he missed the sense of togetherness from his days in church—the singing, the connection, the collective experience of moving through life’s phases together. Through his music, Carpenter has recreated that sense of unity, offering a space where people can come together, sing in unison and find hope.

The night felt like what going to church should be- a time to let go of life’s stresses and refocus on what truly matters. Carpenter’s authenticity and openness created an atmosphere of acceptance and made everyone feel a part of something bigger. This sense of collective euphoria is perfectly encapsulated in his song “Can’t Be Cool Forever” with lyrics that resonate deeply: “Last week I saw a concert, felt this universal crush. Kids were screaming in the theater. The band gave everything to us”.

The evening concluded with “Cuz Of U”, leaving the audience with a sense of closure and fulfillment. Carpenter’s set was a reminder of the power of music to heal, connect and inspire. As the crowd dispersed, it was clear that this was more than just a concert—it was a rejuvenating experience that left everyone hopeful for the week ahead.