By: Carissa Aguirre
Oliver Tree made a stop in Houston to put on what was one of the most chaotic shows I’ve ever been to (in a good way). The artist, who originally gained fame after his song When I’m Down went viral in 2016, filled 713 Music Hall on Saturday, February 3rd. Fans dressed up in bowl-cut wigs and oversized clothes to match the singer's style, eager to meet Oliver Tree's newest persona. Oliver, known for his shape-shifting personas, has kept audiences guessing with each new album release. From Shawney Bravo in Cowboy Tears to Cornelius Cummings in the latest album, Alone in a Crowd, and the unforgettable Turbo from Alien Boy and Ugly Is Beautiful, each character brought a new energy to his performances.
Tree made his entrance sitting on a pink couch, setting the tone for what promised to be an unforgettable evening. What initially seemed like a brief prelude swiftly evolved into a 15-minute viewing of parody commercials, movie trailers, and even mock news segments. In that moment, it became clear: this wasn't going to be your average concert experience. Oliver Tree wasn't merely here to sing; he was here to reveal a full-fledged, self-directed, cinematic experience complete with live performances from each of his iconic characters.
During the first act, we were introduced to Cornelius, who played songs like Miss You and Bounce. Then, during act two, we met Shawney Bravo for Cowboys Don’t Cry and Freaks & Geeks. Finally, we met Turbo in the final act, who played Alien Boy, Miracle Man, and my personal favorite, Fuck. The crowd went absolutely crazy for each one as Tree manifested each character to a tee.
This show was the literal embodiment of the mantra “never let them know your next move,” showing his dedication to the craft. As someone who values commitment to the bit, I couldn't help but admire the effort put into the backstories of each of his characters. For those who appreciate both Tree's music and his unique brand of humor, this show is a must-see. However, for those who are solely fans of his music and less enthused by his humor, be prepared—there's no escaping it at his shows.