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Show Review: Role Model plays largest show of Tourever 2021 in Phoenix

Moving from a small club show to a much larger room was Role Model’s Tourever 2021 flex- and it was immediately obvious that he’s meant for big stages. Singer Tucker Pillsbury had The Van Buren chanting his name long before he hit the stage and he turned it all the way up on a Monday.

Opening the show was solo act Binki, who also had his fair share of fans in the audience. The indie rapper pulls his sound from many genres and influences, all of which shone through in his 30 minutes onstage. As the room filled up, Binki stomped and danced from one end of the stage to the other, even losing his signature shades on one particularly vehement head toss. It was easy to fall in love with his charm and his music- the perfect warmup for the headlining act to come.

Role Model is fairly new on the scene, but Pillsbury’s heartfelt lyrics and polished delivery have gained him a slew of passionate fans. Those fans leaned over the barricade, climbed on the venue’s bleachers (and each other’s shoulders) and danced vigorously to every perfectly poppy track. “Death Wish” was the first song of the night and the room exploded with an impressive amount of energy for a weekday night.

Pillsbury’s fans started with the gifts early, tossing custom-painted cowboy hats and bracelets at the stage as he amassed an ever larger pile of adorable trinkets. Eventually he settled on a black cowboy hat emblazoned with his name as the fan who threw it screamed their approval. 

In the hour he spent with the crowd, Pillsbury made each person in the room feel welcome and safe- a needed reminder after the weekend’s tragic events made headlines. Many attendees walked into The Van Buren searching for their own time to escape and this show provided all of that as they raised their hands and voices for songs like “Notice Me”, “That’s Just How It Goes” and “Better the First Time”. 

Shows like this always end too soon and fans were all smiles as they left, ready in hopes of a spring tour and the return of Role Model.

Check out all the photos from the show!

Story and photos by Olivia Khiel