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

San Diego County Fair Alternative Coming this Summer

An alternative version of the San Diego County Fair is coming to the fairground this summer.

In a statement released on the fair website, “The 22nd District Agricultural Association is getting back to our roots to present HOME*GROWN*FUN, a four-week celebration of community and agriculture offering a taste of what San Diegans have grown to love about the annual fair.” 

Last summer, officials canceled the San Diego County fair due to the Coronavirus pandemic because gatherings of any size were prohibited.

The cancelation was detrimental to the fair because it’s the largest annual event in San Diego County every year (next to Comic-Con).

Photo Credit: @sandiegocountyfair on Instagram

While we are still in a global pandemic, things are improving. This year, the fair will operate; with modifications.

Capacity limited with timed entry required (to prevent overcrowding) and parking passes purchased in advance online. Tickets for parking will go on sale beginning May 1, 2021, on their website.  

The fair, “HOME*GROWN*FUN will offer famous “fair food favorites,” shopping, food concessions, Ferris wheel, a carousel, and various agricultural-themed exhibits. 

The modified fair event will run from June 11 through July 4 (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays).

Admission is $10, with children 5 & younger are free. All guests heading to the fair will be required to wear masks and practice physical distancing from other guests.

For more information regarding the fair, please visit their website at sdfair.com

Photo Cover: San Diego County Fair by Israel Palacio on Unsplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

ICYMI: San Diego Hits the Orange Tier

San Diego County has officially entered the “moderate” orange tier of COVID-19 restrictions as of April 7, 2021.

Now that San Diego is in the orange tier this is excellent news for more businesses that can officially open up or increase capacity.

  • Restaurants: Open for outdoor service and indoors, however, limited to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer. Live entertainment allowed.
  • Hotels and lodging: Open. Fitness centers in hotels can open at 25% capacity including indoor pools.
  • Offices: Open indoors, however teleworking is encouraged.
  • Gyms and fitness centers: Indoors are open at 25% capacity. Indoor pools can open.
  • Place of worship: Indoors can open at 50% capacity
  • Hair salons and Barbershops: Open with modifications
  • Personal services (including nail salons, tattoo, piercing): Open with modifications
  • Museums, zoos, and aquariums: Open Indoors at a 50% capacity
  • Movie theaters: Indoors open at a 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Breweries, wineries and distilleries that serve food: Indoors are now open at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Photo Credit: Mike Petrucci on Unsplash
  • Bars that do not serve food: Open outdoors only
  • Family Entertainment centers (including bowling allies): Outdoors open. Indoor open with a limited capacity at 25% or 50% if all guests test negative or show proof of fill vaccination with additional restrictions
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering: Indoors open at 25% capacity
  • Limited services (Laundromats, Dry Cleaners, Car Washes, Auto repair): Open
  • Outdoor recreational facilities: Open. Sales of food drink, or alcohol allowed. Campground are also open.
  • Indoor playgrounds (Bounce centers, ball pits, laser tag). Open with a max capacity of 25%
  • Amusement parks: Open at 25% capacity
  • Live events, including sports or entertainment: Open at 33% capacity in assigned seating.
  • Entertainment Production: Industries, studios, and other related establishments such as establishments that provide content for professional broadcast can operation without live audiences.

Cover Photo: Stephen Leonardi on UnSplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA