CONCERT REVIEW: Olivia Rodrigo lacked stage presence and emotion on her Sour Tour

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Photo courtesy of Jason Martin | Flickr
By Hayden Kulick

Olivia Rodrigo stated that she “didn’t want to skip any steps” when choosing venues to perform in, but took a huge leap when she decided to do an international tour.

Rodrigo started the night off with what ended up being the best part of the performance. She teased the song “Brutal” a few times before the curtains dropped and walked out. Since “Brutal” is one of her more up beat songs, she created a vibe that failed to be maintained throughout the rest of her performance.

However, Rodrigo attempted to keep the crowd hyped as she transitioned into “Jealousy, Jealousy,” which was another great fit, as both songs relate to similar subjects and was a song the crowd could dance to.

Sadly after that, Rodrigo proceeded to slow the tempo down which once again stopped the crowd’s high energy. . She gave a small speech to the crowd saying all the generic things that performers say like “thank you for coming” and “you guys are awesome.”

After her speech she performed a cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” which was expected because she performed it at every other stop on her tour. She also decided to pay homage to one of her inspirations as an artist, Gwen Stefani, when she performed a cover of “Just A Girl.”

Rodrigo then started to cut off her next few songs before she had finished them. She would perform the first two-thirds of a song then would transition to the next song without warning. It was a big mistake especially because the crowd was fully embracing the song “1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back” before she decided to change what she was performing.

However, Rodrigo made a great decision performing “Good 4 U” last. It was the most anticipated song from the entire crowd. She also used the song “deja vu” to transition into it which was another plus due to the fact that the crowd seemed to enjoy those two songs the most.

She then possibly did the worst thing a performer could do in her situation. She finished “good 4 u,” which was the final song of the day, and had confetti drop from the sky, blew a kiss to the crowd and said goodbye. No theatrics, no final speech. 

One would think that she would have done something special since this was her home performance but all she did was repeat what she had done on her previous stops.

Throughout the entire performance, one could tell that she lacked emotion and was tired from her previous stops. From the moment she said her first word on the stage, it was obvious she didn’t have all of her energy. Her voice was beat.

Alongside Olivia Rodrigo lacking energy, the crowd was the same way too. I was in the front quarter of the crowd and nobody was moving. People were simply just singing along and recording her on their phones. She didn’t look at the crowd much nor did she interact with any of the front row fans that waited overnight to see her.

The person who opened for her, Holly Humberstone, also did not help the lack of energy. Humberstone just sang, didn’t move around, did not engage with the crowd and just introduced herself. She would explain what her songs were about but did nothing else.

As Rodrigo is only 19 years old and very early into her career, I did not go into the performance with the highest of expectations. 

Overall, she did not put on the best performance, but one can hope that she is able to build off of this performance and use it as a learning experience for the rest of her tour.

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