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Peer pressure be damned, Zeiders may just have made history

Paradise Rock Club, Boston, October 26, 2022

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Warren Zeiders is an unlikely country singer to say the least. Zeiders, 23, had no intentions of going into music. But thanks to social media site Tik Tok (and more than a few fans in the house learned of him that way), things change.

But Nashville apparently didn't know what to do with the singer, placed on the Outlaw Country side of the genre. So, Warner LA handles him.

Something must be going right given that despite little mainstream country play, Zeiders practically sold out the 935-capacity venue.

And they should have come away uber satisfied.

The first thing that stands out about Zeiders is his vocals. He has one full, hits-you-in-the gut kind of voice. Real. Legit singer.

And it helps that he seems like a natural performer. Decked out in a hat and shades (for a while anyway), Zeiders had a ready smile and warm personality, not to mention good looks that quickly won over the overwhelmingly 20s-something throng.

Zeiders has deserved confidence as well. Chances are everyone knew exactly who they were in for. Despite that, before launching into a cover of Craig Campbell's "Outskirts of Heaven" early on, Zeiders said, "For those who know and those who may not, my name is Warre Zeiders baby. I want to take this opportunity, and I want to welcome y'all to a night and a show you are never going to forget. Let's make some history baby." The crowd readily engaged, singing right along from the first words.

He's clear voiced with a lot of timbre to his delivery in a mix of his own songs and a few other choice covers – Koe Wetzel's "Drunk Driving," ending the regular set with his break-out hit "Ride the Lightning" and to close out the night, Jason Isbell's "Cover Me Up" with only his guitarist Joe Giaimo accompanying him. He aced all three.

He trusted his crowd well enough to offer an unrecorded song – a work-in-progress song of "Pretty Little Poison," seeking reaction to indicate whether it was worth finishing or not (it was).

Zeiders apparently knows what he wants sonically as well, keeping it country with pedal steel from Alex Kedd throughout that was not buried in the mix, but played an integral part to Zeiders' sound.

Zeiders underscored his bona fides well into the set when a far too enthusiastic fan had two shots of something to give to Zeiders. Despite gently indicating he would not partake, the fan persisted. The crowd started chanting for Zeiders to down the shots. To no avail. Zeiders told the crowd that he was not a big fan of peer pressure.

That ought to come as no surprise given Zeiders' musical direction. He is not the typical country singer. Hershey, Pa. native. A would-be pro lacrosse player who only started playing music due to concussions his freshman year of college. And pretty much absent from country radio.

Zeiders is doing it his way, and given his musical choices thus far, Zeiders is making all the right moves. Peer pressure be damned.

Zeiders may just have lived up to his historical promise to his fans.

Opener Ben Burgess has had good success as a songwriter. Closing with "Whiskey Glasses," a big hit for Morgan Wallen, was proof positive. But the song, like others, indicated why Burgess may be a better writer than performer. His vocals were ragged. And yapping on about being able to buy weed in Massachusetts was a waste of air time. He was more about creating a good vibe than great music.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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