September 4 marked the very first show of Christian French’s first headlining tour. 

Singer ASTN opened up the show, which was held at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. This also marked the very first show of his career. Pronounced “Austin” — which is also his real name — he performed for the roaring crowd, who later sang “Happy Birthday” to the singer, as it was also his 21st birthday. 

ASTN performing at the Blind Pig. Photo//Franz Knight

Playing on a beat pad, keyboard and acoustic guitar, ASTN played songs that he wrote, produced and mixed mainly on his own. After the show, ASTN told the Michigan Journal that he originally thought he’d be a drummer working in a studio or doing tours.

“I never thought in a million years I’d be on stage by myself singing,” ASTN said.

ASTN also said that his feelings after the show were “hard to describe.”

“I didn’t really expect that many people to know who I was to be honest,” he said, “and that place was loud! It really kind of overwhelmed me at first.”

Overall, ASTN’s first show seemingly went well. The fans connected with his music, something he told the Michigan Journal he was hoping for.

“One of my main goals for each show is just to make people feel,” ASTN said. “I want the emotion to come across with every word I say so people can understand how I was feeling when I wrote the tracks.”

Then the main act — Christian French. A college dropout from Indiana, who’s since made a name for himself in the music industry and has earned himself an increasing following. 

Entering the stage to the crowd repeatedly chanting his name, French rocked a Michigan jersey that a fan brought him. 

“Ann Arbor, let me hear you scream!”

Christian French performing at the Blind Pig. Photo//Franz Knight

The beat could be felt in the floor throughout the show, with the exception of a few slower songs French played.  

One of these breaks in floor vibrations came when French took to the keyboard and told a personal story to the crowd before his song “Dying Alive.”

“I couldn’t eat, couldn’t hold a conversation with anybody that I was with. It completely destroyed the relationship I was in.” 

Then, French asked people to put phones away for the next song. No recording, no pictures. 

“We are literally the only ones that get to experience this,” French said as “Time of our Lives” began to play.

“Let’s experience it.” 

Christian French performing at the Blind Pig. Photo//Franz Knight

Five more songs followed this one, and then French finished his set and left the stage.

But the crowd wasn’t done with French yet. The sound of “encore, encore… one more song, one more song” filled the venue until French returned to the stage. He played one more song, “By Myself,” as his earpiece dragged behind him across the stage.

Christian French performing at the Blind Pig. Photo//Franz Knight

French and ASTN stuck around afterwards to take pictures and sign autographs, with French near a backdrop adorned with his newest song’s title- which shared a name with the name of the tour- “Bright Side of the Moon,” and ASTN roaming the floor talking to fans.

In a conversation with the Michigan Journal on Instagram, French said it was “the best night.”

After Ann Arbor, French is scheduled to play 21 more shows on the tour.

Good luck, Christian and Austin!

 

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Kyla Bazzy
Kyla Bazzy is a senior at UMD majoring in journalism and minoring in communications. She currently holds the positions of Treasurer and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Michigan Journal. After graduation, she looks forward to a career in broadcast and writing in either sports or news. Check out her social media: