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El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Ricky Montgomery’s 2024 tour is much more than another Rick in the wall

‘The Rick Tour’s’ dynamic passion and intimacy was a complete experience
Indie artist Ricky Montgomery crouches down at the front of the Regency Ballroom stage to sing to his audience. Photo courtesy of Izzy Hory @izzysconcerts. | Used with permission.

In a whirlwind of reverberating acoustics, pulsing rhythms and fluttering cutouts of paper fish, indie artist Ricky Montgomery performed one of the last North American shows of his “The Rick Tour: Another Rick in the Wall” tour on Tuesday, March 19. The concert, held in the Regency Ballroom, was preceded by snaking queues as the sun set over San Francisco.

Ricky Montgomery leans over the barricade to interact with the audience while performing “Line Without a Hook.” Photo courtesy of Izzy Hory @izzysconcerts. | Used with permission.

The show kicked off at 8 p.m. with a bright half-hour set by indie-pop musician Noah Floersch. Despite lacking Montgomery’s recognizability, he was an approachable opening act and seemed aware of the audience’s unfamiliarity with his music. Floersch’s playful anecdotes saturated the space between his songs — he recounted his quintessential San Francisco travel experiences, including when his hair became the victim of a bird’s excretory movements. His stage presence flowed naturally between lighthearted comments (such as jokes about his song “Clean” not being very clean) and emotional vocals, easing the audience into the night.

After half an hour of antsy anticipation, Montgomery entered against a background of deafening screams and the opening chords of his most streamed song, “Line Without A Hook.” Immediately, it was clear that it wouldn’t be the simple white stage setup conveying the night’s energy, but more the audience’s pure enthusiasm. The song ignited the crowd’s anticipation for the performance to come, reeling in concertgoers with exhilarating waves of instrumentals and compelling lyricism. 

The 90-minute setlist served as a diverse representation of Montgomery’s discography, incorporating tracks from all his releases. The songs fluctuated from the flirtatious boyishness of recent releases “Boy Toy” and “Talk to You” to the sentimental, sober tracks “One Way Mirror” and “Sometimes I Need to Be Alone.” The collection of songs highlighted Montgomery’s versatility and vulnerability.

Throughout the back-and-forth between upbeat and reflective songs, the audience remained invested, magnifying the mood. When Montgomery gave the cue to jump during the chorus of “This December,” they jumped. When he taught them the chorus to his latest song, “Unknown Phantom,” they sang along. Phone flashlights and pride flags went up in the air, making it difficult not to feel invested in the community of the concert. 

However, Montgomery’s personality largely failed to come across, which was disappointing given his witty and sarcastic persona on social media. At times, the fatigue from multiple consecutive stage shows broke through as opposed to his natural charisma, which somewhat dampened the experience. Still, he had some charming moments, such as when he promoted his merch by misdirecting the audience or talked about a tweet that stuck with him. Despite the lack of memorable interaction, the simple structure of the concert emphasized appreciation for Montgomery’s vocals and live music.

As the show continued, its depth was heightened by the crowd’s devotion — during Montgomery’s performance of “Black Fins,” a thoughtful introspection on grief and closure, fans created a project in which hundreds of small paper sharks were held up and rippled in the crowd.

Ricky Montgomery tips the microphone stand as he opens his setlist. Photo courtesy of Izzy Hory @izzysconcerts. | Used with permission.

The concert concluded with a warm acoustic encore of “Mr. Loverman,” one of Montgomery’s first hits. “Mr. Loverman,” with its comforting repetitive melody and vulnerable songwriting, helped propel Montgomery to widespread recognition along with “Line Without a Hook” when it blew up on TikTok in mid-2020, four years after its initial release in his debut album, “Montgomery Ricky.” Performed live, the song bled with nostalgia and heart, but concertgoers got the vague impression that Montgomery was still more candid when performing his other softer songs. 

Montgomery has often commented on the contrast between his current work and his debut pieces and the difficulty in maturing creatively when his character has been overshadowed by his previous identity. In 2022, he released EP “It’s 2016 Somewhere” as a reflection and contemplation of his personal growth.

The pressure to balance those two artistic identities — being TikTok-viral for his teenage creations and also trying to express his current artistry freely — has been an undertone throughout Montgomery’s career, but the show bridged the gap fairly well. It proved he could be more than the two songs he was known for. As he wrote in a TikTok caption recounting the “Black Fins” fan project, “You always hear stories about how ‘TikTok artists’ play shows and the crowds only know ‘the viral one.’ Maybe that’s true for some people. And that’s sad. But my shows aren’t like that. And it’s spontaneous moments like this one that remind me how unbelievably lucky I am to have the fans that I have.”

Ultimately, San Francisco’s experience of “The Rick Tour” wasn’t the most memorable, but it didn’t need to be. For avid Ricky Montgomery fans, the show proved his dedication to change and improve; for casual fans, it was a comprehensive introduction to more of his non-TikTok discography. However, the connection between his live music and dedicated community, as momentary as it might have been, was enough to be meaningful.

As Montgomery commented, “They aren’t just TikTok fans, they aren’t just anime fans. They are real, deep people with their own rich lives and, at the shows, our stories get to intersect for a few hours. And that experience is one of the things I cherish the most about live music and performance in general. Go out and see a show sometime, even if it isn’t mine. You won’t regret it.”


About the Contributors
Jillian Ju
Jillian Ju, Staff Writer
Jillian Ju is a sophomore and staff writer for El Estoque. In their free time, they enjoy writing about complicated people in cars, collecting earrings, and lying down.
Isabelle Kok
Isabelle Kok, Staff Writer
Isabelle Kok is currently a sophomore and a staff writer for El Estoque. In her free time she loves to listen to music, build useless hauls on shopping websites and take naps.
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