When I had first heard of Oliver Tree, I really didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t sure if I loved him or hated him. A few months went by and then there came a day when I was driving across town, and I had an urge to listen to something new. I remembered Oliver Tree had just released a new album called Cowboy Tears, so I decided to give it a try. I’m not sure if it was the mellow guitar riffs, the lo-fi-ish vibes, the poppy/catchy choruses, or maybe it was the joint I had just smoked, but I felt this music. I was cruising down the road with a smile on my face, jammin out to some of the vibiest tune’s I’d ever heard. After that day I became hooked on Oliver Tree. I listened to his music every day, and his songs and albums made their way to the top of my music analytics charts. It goes without saying, that when I saw he would be playing in Phoenix, AZ on his Cowboy Tears One Last Ride Tour I had to get a ticket.
When I got to the Arizona Financial Theater, I didn’t know what to expect as far as the crowd went, I was amazed to see so many different walks of life attending the same concert. There were metal heads, punk rockers, stoners, preps, hipsters, kids, old people, and all of them were there to see Oliver Tree. I think it really says something when a single artist has the ability to bring so many different types of people together. I loved how hardcore some of these fans were, there were a lot of cowboy hats of course, a couple women even had cowboy hats and fanny packs lined with glowsticks which I thought was pretty cool. There were guys in full-blown Oliver Tree cosplay. Everything from the mullet to the glasses, to the parachute pants. There was ever a couple in matching pink and blue windbreakers and JNCO jeans. I love seeing music bring people together and Oliver Tree had one of the most diverse fan bases I’ve ever seen.
I had never listened to the opening acts before I went to the show, but the first to perform was Chase Hudson aka Huddy. Huddy gained popularity on apps like TikTok and Music.ly with his videos showing him lip-syncing, and dancing, to top 40 songs. Huddy started releasing his own music a few years ago and with his massive social media following was able to garner over 2.2M monthly listeners on Spotify alone. While I wasn’t truly sold on Huddy’s vocals, I have to give the dude props for this being his first live show. Skill on stage comes in time and I have no doubt that in time Huddy will grow to become a great live performer. Huddy performed about 10 songs including “21st Century Vampire”, “Don’t Freak Out, and “The Eulogy of You and Me”. Most of the crowd was still filing in during the performance, but from those in attendance, it seemed like most of them enjoyed it.
Next on stage was JAWNY, this artist is very unique in his approach. His Funk-pop style blends elements funk, psychedelic rock, jazz, hip-hop, and pop, making him a true genre-blending genius. JAWNY gained massive popularity for his song “Honeypie”, which garnered over 100M plays alone. His music is delightfully uplifting and chill. I feel like JAWNY was a perfect supporting act to an artist like Oliver Tree, I wouldn’t be surprised if these artists naturally made it on people’s playlists together. JAWNY came out on stage wearing a white shirt, and a construction vest. His Stratocaster guitar was painted with colorful psychedelic designs, a bloodshot eyeball, a dancing cactus. and much more. Although I was a little surprised by his choice in wardrobe, I have to say everything about it was absolutely fitting and added perfectly to this dude’s vibe, JAWNY played some of his most popular songs like “Sabotage”, Honeypie”, and “Trigger of Love”. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance and as soon as I got home, I added all of his music to my music library.
I had fun watching the first two acts, but I was ready for Oliver Tree. I wanted to see if his live performance held a candle to his recorded tracks. The stage was slowly illuminated to reveal two men set back on the stage on each side. One of them was positioned at a keyboard, the other at a drum kit. Both had mullets and were dressed in pick and blue windbreakers. Then came Mr. Tree himself. I don’t think I need to tell you how fun and goofy Oliver is. I think it’s part of his charm to be honest. I laugh when people take him too seriously and don’t like him because of their inability to lighten up. Olive Tree came on stage, and he was ready to rip. He ran back and forty hyping the crowd, I had to laugh when he said it felt good to be back in his “hometown of Phoenix, Arizona”, knowing damn well he was born in San Jose, California. Oliver told the crowd that he was told that they only had time to play two songs and then he had to leave. He kicked off right into “Alien Boy”, a song that I really love. Many of Oliver Trees songs are about being an outcast, about being different from everyone else, and “Alien Boy” is one of the anthems of the outcasts. Those of us who may not fit in, but who also won’t let that strand in our way. A song for the driven weirdos, I suppose. After that he asked if everyone was ready for “One more song”, played his song, and then left the stage. After about a minute or two of being backstage, you could hear Oliver’s voice coming from the PA: “Wait what? You said we only had time for two songs man. What the fuck? You want me to play more? I’m not sure, I don’t think this crowd is really feeling it.” After which the crowd started screaming as loud as they could. Oliver ran back on stage and asked again if the crowd wants to hear one more song. I was laughing pretty hard by this point. This performance was amazing. Oliver Tree was full of energy, his humor was on point, his stage presence was phenomenal. I really didn’t expect that level of intensity by someone like Oliver Tree, but it was what really made that show. While the tour is supposed to be for his album Cowboy Tears, most of the songs that were played were off of his “Uglier is Beautiful” album. No matter, the crowd loved every moment of this performance, and so did I!
This show was one for the books. There was comedy, there were heartfelt moments, there was so much fun and happiness, there was about 10 wardrobe changes, it was over the top in every way. This was just the beginning! I believe the phoenix date was the third night of the tour. There are about 20 more tour dates taking place all across North America, if you get the chance to catch Olive Tree and his friends rolling through your town, you better get out there and get yourself a ticket. Oliver Tree is on his way to the top and the next time he comes through, tickets might sell out before you even get a chance!