Oliver Tree: Making The Stage Sweat
Oliver Tree made his stage sweat. Armed with an army of himselves, Oliver invited us into the house he was bringing down. From a bowl cut to martial arts, no act at Music Tastes Good was as electric as Oliver Tree’s.
When presence is louder than music, you have the making of a celebrity. Festivals like Music Taste Good test a musical act’s resistance to sliding between “live” and “recorded” delivery. The groups that can successfully manage both sides of the coin can be competitive in today’s musical market.
An artist’s profitability is only consequential to an artist’s popularity. And popularity is usually amplified by physical presence. Live shows are so crucial to an artist’s revenue. Despite these pressures, I have yet to see a musician more independently and authentically comfortable than Oliver Tree. It is this comfort in expressing his personal sense of humor that will turn him into an icon. His mad scootering skills and paper-cup design inspired attire make him the “Jesus Christ of Scootering.”
His everything is an expression of his everything. Every new song is presented to us as an entirely novel experience. With costume changes, impromptu water-bottle effects, and punching amps until inducing blood, Oliver Tree has shine on both sides of his coin. Complex sounds with sticky hooks and an incredible performative presence.
The crowd swayed as he laid down toe-tingling tunes like Alien Boy, When I’m Down and Welcome To LA. Clear lyrics muddled in muffling metaphors make for a stimulating semantic strip of sweetness. Expect to hear more from him as he continues to make more things worth hearing.
(Review and Photo by Chris Vinan)
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