Zach Bryan brought together a crowd of strangers with cowboy boots for “an all-night revival” at The Wiltern on Tuesday night. Sounds of old rock and western folk echoed through Wilshire Boulevard, proving the West Coast does have a southern soul.
Bryan’s life before music, serving in the Navy and his upbringing in Oologah, Oklahoma, has shaped the sound and the authenticity in his lyrics. Bryan connected to this time in his intimate video for “Heading South,” shot on a phone while he was outside of the Navy barracks. The video is tangibly raw and honest: as the sweat poured down his face, you could feel the emotion behind his sound.
Bryan garnered a following in 2020 around the time of his sophomore album Elisabeth, which featured successful tracks like “From a Lover’s Point of View,” “Come as You Are,” and “Leaving.” His third album, American Heartbreak, is his first with a major label (Warner Records), and makes up most of his touring setlist, with tracks like “Something in the Orange” and “Heavy Eyes.”
Bryan’s concert brought an energy that I haven’t experienced from music in a long time. It felt as if I had walked into a gathering of old friends in my hometown because everyone connected with Bryan and his music for one reason or another.
The encore encapsulated the entire feeling of the night. This was the moment when the crowd, once strangers, became more collective. As Bryan returned to the stage, The Wiltern is filled with enthusiasm. He began to play “Revival,” a track about admitting to vices, singing “Your transgressions are mine as well / Anger grows in my bones if you could not tell.” His friends joined him on stage dancing and singing, Bryan oozing with joy. Join in on the revival, we will lose our voices, all for the Zach Bryan experience.