Brent in the Bay

By Anjali Nayak 

On August 31, 2023, I got to cross off a name from my unrealistically long concert bucket list. After a long week at Westmont, I got to unwind by witnessing the greatness of Brent Faiyaz’s “F*ck the World, It’s a Wasteland” tour. 

I will admit, the duality of excitement/exhaustion led my knees to buckle and I passed out. Shoutout to my concert buddy, Maria Edrisinghe, for tying my hair up and force feeding me water while I laid on the pit floor of the Masonic venue. But the moment the lights dimmed and Brent Faiyaz came on?


I summoned every strength in my being to stand up and stay up, Faiyaz’s opening was sophisticated — live violins soundtracked his raw, smoky voice. Thankfully, I had mustered the sanity to continue on my feet for the rest of the set. Faiyaz’s body movements ebbed and flowed to the music, his every step and action glowed. The set design was minimal but classy, Faiyaz’s band, a DJ and a string quartet, sat behind him. While he did not include many songs from my favorite album of his, Sonder Son, the concert gave me a deep appreciation for his newer album Wasteland. 

Memories of that night in San Francisco will forever be soundtracked by the groove of “ALL MINE” and “DEAD MAN WALKING.” I will especially remember the moment I realized my favorite song of the set, “F*ck the World (Summer in London),” started playing. It’s hard not to bust a move during the chorus — the deep vocal effect on Faiyaz’s voice glides. Another hit was “ROLE MODEL,” blaring synth pulses and deep 808s matched the shrugged lyrics and effortless flow. Although lasting a mere fifty six minutes, the concert was a blast. Faiyaz’s slick flow and cool demeanor signaled one important message to the crowd: all eyes on him. Fellow Westmont student Bianca Hayes says it best, “I felt like I was in heaven. He is so gorgeous with the literal voice of an angel.”