Concert Review: Tai Verdes

Photo Credits: Faren Holland

Tai Verdes performed on the main stage of San Diego’s House of Blues on 4/20

Tai Verdes got his start on Tik Tok with his song “Stuck In The Middle” which quickly became a viral hit. He has also debuted songs such as  “A-O-K,” “Sheesh!,” and “DRUGS,” which have all seen success on Tik Tok and even made their way over to mainstream radio. With Tai’s newfound stardom, he has been able to turn his Tik Tok hobby into a music career and was able to quit his job at Verizon Wireless.

Tai Verdes had a fantastic set that had fans dancing and singing to every song. When looking into the crowd, it was very obvious that Tai has many dedicated fans. It is quite rare for an artist who starts on Tik Tok to have a big and dedicated fanbase outside of social media, but it appears that Tai Verdes was able to break that barrier. 

Tai Verdes, photo credits: Faren Holland

His music style is very happy and positive. He even took time during his set to speak to the audience and encourage everyone to follow their dreams, just like he did. I have never felt so uplifted by an artist; it was like a concert and a motivational speech all in one. 

Tai Verdes brought his own band with him which consisted of a bass player, guitar player, and drummer. They did a great job performing and interacting with each other. The energy between Tai and the band was contagious and just watching them have fun up on stage made me have an even better time in the audience. At one point during the set, Tai even jumped down into the audience and walked around while singing.

Tai Verdes, photo credits: Faren Holland

Tai Verdes has a song called “DRUGS” which is about doing drugs to “change his mind up,” as quoted from the lyrics. Since the show was on 4/20, obviously, this song was a big hit. It was such a crowd-pleaser during the main set that when the crowd was chanting for an encore, Tai and his band performed “DRUGS” again and it was just as big a hit. He even lit up a blunt and passed it around the stage with his band to celebrate.

Overall this concert was very good and entertaining. Tai Verdes’ ultra-positive personality and music paired with the crowd’s energy made for a very enjoyable night. I would highly recommend going to see Tai Verdes live. Whether you’re a superfan or just know a few songs, it will be a great time.

Written by: Faren Holland

Concert Review: Tai Verdes at the House of Blues

Photo Credits: Katerina Portela

What better way to spend 4/20 than with the positive energy of Tai Verdes? His San Diego show took place at the House of Blues on April 20th, 2022 for his first-ever “HDTV” tour following the release of the debut album “TV.” To say that it was a lively crowd would be an understatement. Something about his music inspires bright colors, which was clearly present in the style among his mostly young fans. The opener was an 18-year-old from Toronto who went by “renforshort,” cooing her music in an airy voice that echoed the likes of Phoebe Bridgers. She was chatty and kept the crowd alive with quips between songs. A memorable one was before her song titled “Moshpit,” which she described as “being about a bad relationship and not at all about a real moshpit because I have crippling social anxiety and wouldn’t last a second in one.” The smooth, indie-pop sound of renforshort coupled with her relatable sense of humor perfectly set the stage for the main act everyone was waiting for, Tai Verdes. 

Before the show, I did some research on Verdes and found his unique story of starting out as an unknown phone salesman dreaming of a career in music, releasing a song on Tiktok that went viral, and getting a jumpstart on his career from competing in (and winning) an MTV dating show. Through all of this, the main thing I learned about Verdes is that he never stops trying, a mantra he said himself at one point between songs— “One thing I’ma tell you guys,” he shouted. “Is never f**king give up!” This relentless spirit was apparent tonight in his performance. 

Tai Verdes stepped on stage a little after 8:00 with a dramatic pause and immediately launched into “Happy Til it Hurts,” a track from his album “TV.” The lyrics described his experience starting at a low point and working his way up with big aspirations. This seemed a fitting start to his show both lyrically and musically as it was passionate and groovy. Verdes made sure to give every song a fun edge and as you might find listening to his discography, most of his music is perfect to sing along to. His recent album TV captures the catchiness and summery feel of poolside pop. He constantly encouraged the crowd to sing along and had an expressive way of delivering every lyric. Verdes also incorporated his talented band, giving them the spotlight to shine and bring the energy to his instrumentals. The bassist I remember especially for bouncing around behind Verdes and absolutely killing the backup vocals. You may have heard Verdes’ viral first single, “Stuck in the Middle,” which starts off with a bouncy riff and the catchy lyrics: “She said, you’re a player aren’t you, and I bet you got hoes.” The bass took on an important role then, leading the way for the song while the crowd screamed along. 

Tai Verdes performing at the House of Blues San Diego
Photo Credits: Katerina Portela

Part of the reason that this show was so enjoyable was because of how fun his music is: every song had the crowd dancing while Verdes himself smiled the entire time. The colors flashed between electric blue, scarlet red, and shades of yellow and orange: vibrancy shone through the entire show. For his two most well-known songs, Tai Verdes went to the crowd and asked an audience member a question, the answer to which would segway into the music. For example, in “Stuck in the Middle,” he actually leaped down and weaved his way to the center of the crowd to ask a young fan, “Hey, do you know what she said to me?” The fan, bursting with excitement, replied “You’re a player aren’t you!” and the song started with a bang. His fresh take on participating with the audience kept everyone engaged and when he stepped off the stage, it didn’t take long before everyone was screaming for more. He returned for a final encore for a song that he had already played, but somehow managed to make it even more energetic, namely because the song was called “Drugs,” and because of the occasion, it makes sense why the audience got so into it. 

Verdes left in a cloud of smoke, shining in sweat from the absolute effort he puts into every song and of course giving one last signature smile. When the show was truly over, I was surprised to find myself out of breath from all the singing and dancing that his music brought out of me. Tai Verdes brought the excitement to San Diego with his colorful and infectious joy during this explosive debut tour, an energy that I’m excited to see more of as his career continues.

Written by: Katerina Portela

KCR FEST 4/23

Live, local music and great times to be had with KCR!

On Saturday, April 23, KCR College Radio is holding a music fest at the OB Rassle House from 2-5 p.m. Tickets are $10 if you use the QR code and $15 at the door. Come through for some great live music and to support KCR and local artists!

Performances by:

  • T Rexico
  • Wizaerd
  • The Renters
  • The Martens

Joy Again Interview

By Jesse Miller

I spoke to Sachi and Arthur from Joy Again on zoom from their van in Cleveland, where the band is currently on tour with Snail Mail. They were making their way to Chicago as we spoke. 

Joy Again via Spotify

Give us a little bit of background about yourselves… you’ve been a band for a while, you’re earliest releases being back in 2014-2016. Tell us where you’re from and how the band formed.

S: “We’re both from Glen Mills or Gradyville, Pennsylvania. We met on facebook. I was having a bad time at my high school and I ended up transferring to Colin’s school and we just started making music in our free periods, throwing it up on bandcamp. That was like 8 years ago now. Everyone else joined bit by bit.”

A: “Blaise, we knew his girlfriend. Tyndall worked at a coffee shop with Arthur. My cousin will just came to a session because our drummer quit, and our friend Kieran we’ve known for a long time. He’s in my other band, too. He’s like a master of bass so we just brought him in.”

What’s your other band called?

ARTHUR, it’s weird pop music, kinda. It’s kinda dark but its like depressing funny pop music

Tell me a little bit more about the single you guys just put out, ‘What Lovers Do‘, the recording, writing, release process is like.

S: “We did most of it ourselves and had it mixed and mastered by different people, professionals. We produced it on our own. We usually work with our friend Caleb on production stuff. we have a studio in Philadelphia, so we just are making music all the time and producing it out ourselves as well as working with other people. It’s all over the place. Generally Arthur and I write all the songs and then just flush ’em out with everybody.”

Is the single a precursor to more new music being released?

“It’s not a single for a record but we do have another single coming out, I think, April 22nd. And then we’re gonna go back home and work on albums. There’s another ARTHUR album to make, too.”

I noticed over the past year or so, ‘Looking Out For You‘ has had some leverage online, especially on Tik Tok. Have you noticed a change at all, a difference at shows or in your fanbase?

S: “The song is super fun to play live, it’s super fun on this tour because we play it really late in our set and people sit through our whole set, we gage the crowd, then play the song, and more peoples ears perk up.”

A: “then they get hyped for Snail Mail.”

S: “it’s cool having a moderate hit on our hands, at least people know us for something.”

Tell us about a typical tour day for you.

A: “We wake up, try and get breakfast. If we have time, we’ll wander around a bit. Only just recently we’ve started having days where we have more time. A lot of it is just getting in the van and watching the road for like four hours, listen to something, maybe a podcast. You get to the venue, load in, do soundcheck and then you have like an hour. We chill and then eat dinner. You sit, chill. Get all your gear loaded in the van. Wait for the other band to finish playing. Do a little dance, shake around a little bit, you go back to the hotel, turn on the TV, watch some weird old stuff and a lot of commercials. That’s pretty much just everyday.”

What are your musical influences? Do you have any other media that influences your thought or songwriting process?

A: “Animals, the water, your friends, everything has an influence on your music. Anime and cool movies, like Blade, Matrix, anything.”

S: “Other musicians like The Beatles, Ween, rub off on us a lot. I haven’t been listening to a lot of good albums lately.”

A: “Sleep and dreams are good inspiration.”

How have you grown into your sound the past few years, given you have been a band releasing music before and after the pandemic? What did the pandemic look like for you as musicians?

S: “I didn’t write a lot of Joy Again stuff during the pandemic. I produced a couple other records for people, so that was fun. I am kind of just getting back into the swing of writing for Joy Again now. I wrote a few things during the pandemic but nothing I really like.”

A: “I don’t wanna make music that’s coming out at the same time as everyone else’s quarantine album.”

Joy Again 2022 Spring Tour

Be sure to check out Joy Again at the House of Blues on April 23rd! Get tickets here!

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