Internet sensation Taylor Davis brought her viral violin songs and videos to Ferndale last week. The YouTuber is most known for her “nerdy” covers of video game, anime and movie music, as well as for her original compositions off of her 2015 self-titled album. She is known on YouTube as “ViolinTay.”
The performance, held at Ferndale’s The Magic Bag, opened with a large screen mimicking a classic video game opening. Salome, Davis’ friend and accompanying pianist, “selected” animated figures of both her and Davis on the screen before Davis came out to applause.
Davis opened the show with one of her most well known covers, a high-tempo rendition of “Dr. Wily’s Theme” from the original Nintendo Entertainment System game, “Mega-Man 2.” She would later close the show, pre-encore, with her most popular YouTube cover of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme.
After her opening, Davis proceeded to have a variety of videos play behind her, from her YouTube music videos to thematic clips; for example, shots of winter scenery were shown as she played the main theme from the video game “Skyrim,” known for its snowy setting. A unique twist to these videos came with her YouTube clips – Davis often perfectly synched her performance stylings with what she had previously recorded, often leaving a “double image” of Davis plucking the violin.
The violinist’s interactions with the crowd were brief, but genuine. She repeatedly thanked the audience for supporting her, particularly as this stop was part of her first ever tour. The Ferndale stop was special in particular, she noted, “Because Detroit used to be my home town. And it’s nice to be here for this weather!”
In favor of banter, Davis kept the music rolling. Original pieces like “Awakening” and “Reflections” would be followed by her self-proclaimed “nerdy covers.” Renditions of music from the Nintendo video game series, “The Legend of Zelda,” were the most prominent. A medley of “Song of Time” and “Song of Storms” from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” was her first foray into the Zelda music library. Later, she’d perform “Gerudo Valley” from the same game. At the close of the show, she would perform one encore song – a cover of the original “Legend of Zelda” theme.
Davis told the crowd at one point that video games often trumped video games in her life. “My mom used to incentivize me to play violin with video games,” she said, laughing. “She’d say, ‘OK, 30 minutes of violin, then you can play video games.'”
The performer also dipped into anime, or Japanese animation, themes. She performed “Grief and Sorrow” from the anime “Naruto” as well as “Brothers” from the show “Fullmetal Alchemist,” both of which she had recorded on her 2012 album, “Gaming Fantasy.”
Any in the audience who may not have been familiar with her more niche performances were treated to other more general performances, including a pop cover. In addition to more of her original pieces, like “Nebulous,” Davis also premiered her not-yet-published-on-YouTube video, “Hidden Falls,” for one of her more popular original compositions. The music video featured Davis performing in front of Oregon’s natural scenery.
The almost 90-minute show left Davis’ fanbase mesmerized, particularly for how diverse the crowd proved to be. The Magic Bag was filled to standing room of not only young fans but many middle-aged followers. Davis remained gracious to said fans for the rest of the evening, spending time to meet fans, take pictures and sign autographs directly following the show.