Tai Verdes concert more than ‘A-O-K’

Student Entertainment Board invited rising star to the Palouse



Tai Verdes performs at the CUB Senior Ballroom on Oct. 11, 2021, in Pullman.

MIKAYLA FINNERTY, Editor-in-chief

“You could be anywhere in the country right now,” Tai Verdes told the crowd at his concert on Monday. “But you are here with me, and I really appreciate that.”

On Oct. 11 at the Compton Union Building, the Student Entertainment Board hosted a concert featuring up-and-coming artist Tai Verdes. Over 700 students gathered in the CUB Senior Ballroom to see Verdes perform his breakout album, which includes hit songs “A-O-K,” “DRUGS” and “FEELING THIS BAD NEVER FELT SO GREAT.”

“I wanted to bring an artist that I thought would be exciting and fun,” SEB concert director Sierra Horon said. 

Horon said she saw Verdes performing at Northern Arizona University through social media and noticed “everyone was jumping and having an amazing time,” which inspired her to invite him to WSU. 

Verdes was a fireball running around the stage Monday night. He even joked he does not need to work out anymore, as his performances are all the exercise he needs. 

After finding out Verdes sold out his solo tour in a day, Horon said she knew she had to bring this guy to the Palouse.

Horon signed on two opening acts, the first being Xean Tanala, aspiring hip-hop artist and WSU student. The Pullman Collective, four WSU students who write songs about their college experience, were the second opening act. 

“It’s one of my favorite parts of my job,” Horon said. “I get to bring on students who make really great music and give them an opportunity to open for a big artist.” 

Throughout the night, Verdes cracked jokes with the audience but also got personal. He talked about his relationship with music from a young age saying “I knew, I knew, I knew I loved it.” 

Over social media, SEB ran a contest where randomized winners got the chance to meet Verdes after the show. WSU marketing major Alyssa Anderson was one of four winners who participated in the meet and greet.

“I’ve never been to a concert with his vibe of music, so that was really fun and something cool to experience, especially with an artist that isn’t super big,”  Anderson said. “I found his music about a year ago on TikTok when he was pretty small.” 

Verdes’ career took off when his song “Stuck In the Middle” gained wide popularity on TikTok at the start of the pandemic, hittingNo. 1 on Spotify’s U.S. viral chart. The track now has over 80 million streams. His song “A-O-K” is currently number 34 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. 

Needless to say, it has been a breakout year for Verdes. Horon said she is grateful he came to the Palouse and that she got to meet him before he headed out. 

“He’s got a larger-than-life personality, and you can just tell he’s doing what he wants to do,” she said.