March 11, 2022 at House of Blues
If one phrase could summarize the emotion running through Boston’s House of Blues on Friday the 11th, it would probably be “Live every day as if it’s your last.” Having announced his second album, Cowboys Don’t Cry, as his last, Oliver Tree certainly seems to have had these words in mind when he planned the crazy, unique, and incredibly chaotic experience he delivered fans on this tour. Walking up to the venue, the energy was already buzzing. Scatterings of denim-covered cowboys and bowl-cut-afflicted attendees were clearly ready to unleash all of their love for the Internet celebrity. Inside, the excitement for the night only grew, as these fans turned to one another and began to speculate, sharing the crazy rumors and anecdotes they had heard of. “I heard he got in a boxing match at one,” whispered a frenetic concert-goer; “I bet that’s the motorcycle from his music video,” said another, pointing to the sheet-covered props on stage with a shaking finger.
Luckily, the crowd didn’t have to wait long to let out their held-in screams as the show’s two openers seemed to not only match, but go beyond their expectations of a wild night. The show began with a performance by William Schultz, better known by his stage name Sueco the Child, who performed his hit song “Paralyzed” and other tracks that replicated the same pop-punk vibe he is known for. Sueco certainly wasn’t paralyzed as he moved around the stage, jumping off it numerous times, all in a lead up to his finale — the crowdsurf. There are not enough words to describe Sueco’s antics, but an honorable mention goes to his guitar-smashing break between songs, and the pause he took to sign an adoring fan’s chest mid-song. The show’s second opener, TikTok sensation Aidan Fuller, stage name 347aidan, brought a very different energy to the stage, but an infectious one nonetheless. His set reached its peak with his performance of his hit single, “Dancing in My Room,” at which point, Sueco came back onstage and swayed along with the 18-year-old singer. The mismatch of energies only added to the expected weirdness of the show — and made Oliver Tree’s entrance all the more exciting.
The 29-year-old California native strolled onto the stage to hundreds of people screaming his name, and looked as unbothered as if he’d just walked into his parents’ living room. Over the course of the night, Tree would demonstrate over and over this same ease and comfort,contrasting very nicely with his over-the-top style. Some artists seem to try too hard, and some too little — Oliver Tree simply does what he likes, and lets that love energize and enthuse him. From Tree’s first song, “Forget It,” it became evident that his innate confidence wasn’t for nothing. The same uniqueness that shone about him in his produced studio albums and professionally shot music videos was evident on the House of Blues stage. From facial expressions to mannerisms, he was quite evidently and simply himself. Tree continued the show by performing a track off his first album, “Alien Boy,” and proceeded to thank the audience for coming, before saying a quick “Thank you, goodnight,” and strolling right off the stage. In a voiceover, the confused audience could hear him say, “Oh, they want another one? I thought we only had time for two songs…” This elicited cheers from his fans once more, and as this farce ended, another one seemed to begin. Tree came back on stage in a new, very Tree-esque outfit, beginning what would be only one of the many outfit changes of the night. He performed a few more songs, engaging in some incredible fan interactions (at one point taking a fan’s sign with a picture of Ethan Klein from the h3h3 podcast and using it as an excuse to begin a “Fuck Ethan Klein” chant against the man whom he claimed to be his arch-nemesis) before announcing he would be bringing in a guest. Who should walk on stage but an 8-foot-tall alien, the famous Little Ricky ZR3, who performed “1993,” the song he features on in Tree’s last album.
It was at this point in the show that another transition took place, and the audience was transported to the weirdest Wild West in town — Oliver Tree’s emo-country-land that gave rise to Cowboys Don’t Cry. From here on out, things only got crazier, if that was even possible with mosh pits, scooter tricks, a well-placed on-stage bathroom break, and audience crowd surfing. It was hard to believe what you were seeing when a giant cow got rolled on stage, and Tree managed to sing a whole song while standing on its back. What was great about this show, in case it hasn’t been made apparent, was that there was pretty much something for everyone. Whether an audience member was a diehard Oliver Tree fan or they’d just known him by name, they were guaranteed to come away from this show having had not only a good night, but with an experience that they will likely remember forever. As cheesy as it sounds, Oliver Tree is going out with a bang if this is truly his retirement from music. Walking out of the venue, it would’ve been hard not to agree with the muttered, “I feel bad for security in this place,” heard as the crowd hurried towards the exit. And if that isn’t a sign of a great night, what is?