Dreams came true for 19-year-old singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo as her Sour Tour stopped by the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles for two sold-out shows. I was able to attend the May 25th date where she revealed she’s always dreamt of playing at the outdoor venue, “when I was a little kid, my parents would drive up to LA with me to go to acting classes. We would hike around Griffith Park after every class and I used to tell them for years when we would drive past the Greek, 'one day I’m going to play there.'” Not only did she fulfill that wish, but once tickets to her tour went on sale all the dates sold out in seconds. A rare accomplishment for an up-and-coming musician. Everyone wants to see Rodrigo perform live since this is the first time she’s ever toured, a special moment in her musical career.
It’s been exactly one year since Rodrigo released her debut Sour. An album that has smashed records left and right and is universally loved thanks to its earnest depiction of love, insecurities and teenage heartbreak. With only Sour under her belt, it was no surprise that the entire night consisted of tracks from the album alongside a few surprises. The night kicked off with the thunderous guitar riffs of “brutal” as the crowd witnessed purple curtains opening to a set similar to the ones used in Sour Prom, a concert film Rodrigo released through YouTube last year. Glitter streamers decorated the stage, alongside a bright disco ball and a large bleacher front-and-center with Rodrigo's all-female band standing tall. The energetic singer appeared soon after running around on stage shouting the witty lines from the track to a cheering crowd. Ironically, we didn’t have to wait long to hear the song that introduced the world to the singer, as the Grammy-winning hit “drivers license” was the third song she performed while playing the piano.
It was wonderful to see Rodrigo showcasing her talents on stage, for power ballad tracks like “hope ur ok” and “happier” she would switch it up by playing the grand piano, serenading the crowd with her guitar and showcasing her dynamic powerhouse vocals. Rodrigo is carving her own unique style by mixing singer-songwriter ballads with sprinkles of punk-rock fun. This is why the inclusions of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” and No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” were perfect cover choices for Rodrigo as she has the vocal chops to deliver a solid performance. Towards the end of her set, she invited collaborator and producer Dan Nigro on stage to perform “favorite crime.” It was nice to finally witness the musical chemistry between them in person, as the duo spent a lot of time together creating and writing Sour.
Rodrigo’s career as a successful childhood actress has helped her be comfortable on stage, she knows how to interact and delight a crowd. Just like in her music, Rodrigo is honest with her audience confessing she’s still insecure just like everyone else, “I'm 19 and I’m insecure, so much of the time, and I probably will be when I’m twenty and twenty-one and twenty-two and maybe for the rest of my life. Something that gives me solace in that feeling is knowing that everyone in the world feels like that at some point in their lives.... If you feel like that, I sometimes feel like that too and so does everyone at the Greek theatre. ” It’s nice to witness younger artists like her take time to chat about insecurities and mental health, something that can be so impactful for young attendees.
Rodrigo finished the night by rocking out with her entire band through a thunderous rock performance of the hit “good 4 u." A perfect way to end the night. Rodrigo officially ended her U.S. tour on May 27th in San Fransico and is now headed to Europe for the rest of the summer. She's also returning to the small screen for the upcoming season of Disney+ hit show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series out later this year
For more on Olivia Rodrigo, oliviarodrigo.com
Photo Credit: Skyler Barberio / @skylerbarberio