The viral sensation is touring in support of his first album for Warner Records
The last time TMU covered a show by Warren Zeiders, he had only released acoustic EPs, was freshly signed to his label, and had not released a major record. He was a newbie who had only a handful of shows under his belt, yet that has changed. Dramatically.
“Coming Down High”—which Zeiders performed second at the Chelsea at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on Thursday (Dec 7th)—is everywhere on country radio. Zeiders is selling out venues on his full band tour with one album under his belt.
That album, Pretty Little Poison made up the bulk of the setlist of course. While Zeiders also kept his OGs on his mind, offering a healthy dose of his self-released 717 Tapes. Zeiders told the crowd the song was about to crack top 10 at country radio.
As the area code 717 suggests, Zeiders is from Hershey, PA. Fitting, as his voice is as rich as chocolate. It also has a roughness and natural trill that is divisive, as it recently made national headlines for Zeiders’ performance of The Star-Spangled Banner. But his fans get it: that kind of authenticity cannot be faked. And Zeiders knows no other way to sing. The music he makes also demands he not smooth out the edges. It just works.
And it works because of one thing that hasn’t changed as Zeiders has matured as an artist: his ability to keep a room of people in the palm of his hand. To go from a 600-seat venue outside DC to selling out a 3,000-capacity room in a resort on the Vegas strip is a result of more than just the music. As I saw first-hand last year, Zeiders has a charisma unmatched by peers twice his age. Zeiders often drew out songs to lead a crowd-size singalong on numbers like “West Texas Weather” in a manner that felt like he was talking right to you. He even had the ushers and security smiling and head-rocking along.
His voice pierced through his band for 16 songs, even if the audio mix in the cave-like Cosmo concert hall competed with him at times. The rockers like “Never Back Down” are his strong suit vocally, but his ballads have top-quality writing. One glaring omission from the setlist—and as an early supporter of an artist who admits he’s learning as he goes on this journey—was “Wild Horses.”
“Wild Horses” is a fan-favorite track that was a showstopper at Birchmere last year, where the crowd knew every word despite it having been dropped just days before. That magic was repeated with “Sin So Sweet.” The crowd sang in unison to the tune released three weeks ago. A perfect song for Sin City.
That’s the kind of loyalty Zeiders is already cultivating this early in his career. He’s been riding this lightning ever since hitting “post” on his first TikTok. And it continues to be a thrill to watch him grow. I’ve said it before and l will say it again: Warren Zeiders had the makings of a Hall of Fame artist.