SHOW REVIEW: Olivia Rodrigo at the Met

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WRITTEN BY: Aaron Scofield

Making her Philadelphia debut on Friday, May 6th, Olivia Rodrigo brought her Sour Tour to the historic Met stage for a headlining show that was highly anticipated by fans of each and every age. 

Rodrigo shot to instant stardom with the release of her single “drivers license” in January of 2021, having previously built a small dedicated fanbase through her role as Nini in Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Rodrigo took this taste of success and propelled it into the smash success release of her debut album Sour this past May. Rodrigo and her freshman release went on to win three Grammys and top the charts worldwide. As pandemic restrictions eased, Rodrigo brought her music on the road playing shows across the United States, each in turn selling out within minutes of tickets being released for sale. 

For her two nights in Philadelphia and the second half of the United States tour, the bill featured British singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone as the opening act. Humberstone released a few EPs throughout 2020 and 2021, building enough notoriety to be appreciated and given a warm welcome by Friday night’s audience. Throughout the sea of fans wearing newly-purchased Rodrigo merch, Humberstone fans made themselves apparent with clear excitement and appreciation for the 22-year-old opener. Highlights from her set included the latest release, “Sleep Tight,” in addition to past favorites including “London is Lonely” and “Scarlett.” 

After a brief intermission, screams emanated from the sold-out crowd as One Direction’s 2015 song “Olivia” began playing, announcing Rodrigo’s imminent arrival on the stage. The curtain parted while the masses of fans greeted Rodrigo, who kicked off the show with Sour’s opening track, “Brutal.” While the Met has mostly seated tickets, it was as if the venue was standing-room only; fans in the general admission pits were shoulder to shoulder with cell phones raised high into the air, capturing the debut tour for future posterity. The excitement and energy of the fanbase—concert-starved due to Rodrigo’s rise to fame during the pandemic—was palpable, even contagious, as evidenced by the countless smiles on not just the faces of the young fans, but their parents and guardians too. 

Rodrigo played the entirety of Sour, two covers, and the TikTok favorite, “All I Want,” from High School Musical television notoriety. A clear audience favorite was found in a mashup of two songs, “enough for you” and “1 step forward, 3 steps back,” with Rodrigo seated alone on the stage with her acoustic guitar. Fans sang back every word, transfixed, and responded to each directive given to them.

While the show was largely executed perfectly, matching the excitement and energy of the crowd with each transition, the only lacking jump between songs was between the final number and the encore, “good 4 u.” One would almost hesitate to call it an encore, with Rodrigo only leaving the stage for a very brief interlude, barely giving fans time for anticipation or the often false sensation of the concert being over. Without a doubt, however, as this tour and future tours come to pass, Rodrigo will fine-tune her live show to equal the polished concert experience of peers in her genre. 

Although this is likely the first and final tour that Rodrigo will headline that is not located in sold-out stadiums, fans left the show satisfied and proud to have seen the young artist make her debut. Leaving the Met, young fans were undoubtedly excited to share their experiences at the show with their schoolmates the next week, while the entire audience was equally excited to see what’s next for Rodrigo’s promising career. 

Setlist:

  1. brutal
  2. jealousy, jealousy
  3. drivers license 
  4. Complicated (Avril Lavigne cover)
  5. hope ur ok
  6. enough for you / 1 step forward, 3 steps back
  7. happier
  8. All I Want
  9. Just a Girl (No Doubt cover)
  10. favorite crime
  11. traitor
  12. deja vu
  13. good 4 u

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