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Concert Review: Tessa Violet & Phangs Light Up Troubadour

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

You may not have heard of the musicians Phangs or Tessa Violet, and to be honest neither did I before the 4th of December when I happened to take a chance and go out to Troubadour for their concert. Now I have a playlist on Spotify filled with music from both these acts.

I usually don’t go to the concerts of artists I am not a fan of. In fact, the only reason I was there was because it was a social event organized by Dashew’s Global Siblings Program, which I had to attend as a part of the program. But going to this event became one of the most fun experiences I have ever had and I owe a lot of my newfound appreciation for cheaper and lesser known artists to the amazing show that Tessa Violet and Phangs put on.

While waiting in line, it became very clear that I was one of the few people who actually had not heard any of the music played by both the opening and main act. Furthermore, the Troubadour was nothing like the concert venues I was used to, it had a much more relaxed pub vibe. I opted to stay off the mosh pit area and sat at the higher deck. I could not wait to see the acts that everyone was so excited to see.

Without further delay, the Phangs began to play around 8 pm. Boy was I in for a surprise… The indie pop band started with clear crowd favorites such as, ‘Eyes Of You’ (I have had that one on repeat for a few days now). The front-man Jake took some time talking after the first set. It was quite surreal and intimate as the singer joked around with the venue of 500 people. With songs such as ‘Always Been U’, ‘I Forgot You’ and ‘Good Now’ playing, the mood was not just high and energetic, but also slow and romantic without losing the initial flare the band had opened with. The group closed off their act thanking Tessa Violet and playing the song that caught her attention ‘Dry Eyes’ (my favorite song of the night so far).

I was now pumped for Tessa’s appearance and had already added Phangs to my Spotify list of artists. Half an hour after Phangs had bowed out, the woman of the hour arrived, painting a very distinct image in her yellow jumpsuit and colorful hair (Phangs had been the one who tipped me off about Tessa’s love for the color yellow by pointing out the yellow socks he had worn in her honor). She began with an acoustic version of the one song I had heard of hers (one of her most popular numbers) ‘Crush’ and quickly transitioned to high energy numbers like ‘Not Over You.’ With the lights pulsing and the general energy pouring from the stage, I found myself swaying to the music.

Like Phangs, Tessa took time to interact with the crowd and her general awkward demeanor was unassumingly charming with the calm yet upbeat music. The small and intimate crowd, the general intimacy and banter with the performers, all made for an incredible experience. So pro-tip to any students who want to get a feel for Los Angeles: listen to different types of music, meet new people and just have a fun time. Look up local small concert hotspots and book tickets for artists you have barely heard of and just get out! It might be the most fun experience you’ve had and it doesn’t hurt your wallet much either! This was a win in my book.

Meghna is a writer for the HerCampus UCLA chapter. She is a second year who is double majoring in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics & Communication Studies. She loves photography, martial arts and is a huge superheroes and science fiction fan. While she isn't writing, she is part of a research lab in Gonda Neuroscience Building and is a part of the UCLA Debate Union amongst other things. Hit her up with a nerdy science joke to start a conversation.
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