With his signature shiny bowl cut and 90’s pink and purple anorak, indie-rapper Oliver Tree is a fashionable throwback for the Gen-Zers.
Walking into Oliver Tree’s show at London’s infamous Heaven was like walking into a pool of excitement and optimism – despite the sticky floor and stench of Red Bull.
The twenty-six-year-old artist-turned-viral sensation was there to play the fourth gig of his UK Goodbye, Farewell Tour, a tour he has announced will be his last. However, with such an epic crowd of enthusiastic fans – some even sporting the same shiny bowl cut as the artist – it’s hard to believe he’ll be out of the game for long.
Heaving with excited teens in their best 90s attire, the room was full as the audience laughed and giggled whilst taking Snapchat selfies and Instagram stories of the stage, which displayed the name of Tree’s support for the evening, NVDES: sprawled out in an impressive neon graffiti-esque fashion. After some time, NVDES jumped out onto the stage, microphone in hand, pacing up and down whilst admitting to the crowd what pleasure it was to be in their presence, demanding they “feel the positive vibrations”. The crowd seemed content to do just that, as they proceeded to jump up and down to the singer’s hit ‘Rock & Roll’, an electrifying roar of angst and rebellion – something all teenagers can relate to.
The crowd continued to bounce, whilst NVDES repeatedly shouted “let’s go!”, and the relationship between the artist and the audience was clearly one of admiration. The sweaty group of teens at the very front began throwing their arms heavily to and fro, trying to reach out to the singer in an almost hypnotic way. Continuing the impress the crowd with his adrenaline-fuelled anthems, such as ‘The Other Side’ and ‘Everyday’, NVDES proceeded to perform various mash-ups before springing down from the stage, high-fiving his groupies.
Next up was the walking, talking meme himself – Oliver Tree. After another prolonged wait, which saw fans tumble out of the main room towards the bar in search of water post-NVDES, Oliver Tree made a typically Tree entrance, running out of nowhere and shouting, “what’s up, London?!”. Once again, the crowd went wild, spilling their freshly acquired water everywhere and breaking into song as Tree began ‘Forget It’, a tune he originally featured on alongside DJ and fellow San Jose resident, Getter.
Spitting into his mic whilst continuously walking the length of the stage, the artist lived up to the wild expectations the audience has clearly come for. Like a seven-year-old who’s eaten too many Skittles, Tree jumped up and down to ‘Alien Boy’ and ‘Upside Down’ before catching his breath and explaining how happy he was to be in the capital.
“I need you guys to put your hands up for this one, let’s do it!” he exclaimed after about a minute’s worth of downtime, before the party started again. Tree’s fans, who are clearly devoted, throw themselves about at every given opportunity, smiles plastered across their faces in youthful ecstasy.
After playing a string of popular tunes, the guitar strum of ‘Miracle Man’ bellows out and Tree begins to yell the lyrics aloud. The audience is captivated once again, particularly so this time, and I wonder where all the energy in their bodies is contained. A few lads sport red shades, similar to the one’s Tree wears in the video for the song, and begin to pound their fist in the air.
Tree finishes the set with ‘When I’m Down’, before briefly leaving the stage. The booing from the crowds is deafening, but Tree soon returns to play one last hit, ‘Introspective’.
Finishing up, he thanks his fans “for the trip” and their sweaty faces look upon him in awe. Will this be the last time they see that bowl cut all ruffled up? Highly unlikely.