Olivia Rodrigo – Sour Concert Review

Immaculate. Jaw-dropping. Miraculous. Extraordinary. Yes, it was THAT good.

For my sister and I, the relatively sunny Sunday began with reciting our intricate plan for the day; our route to Manchester, queuing schedule, and deciding on our food and toilet breaks. Anyway, this isn’t about the many obstacles that we faced on our journey (flat tyre, etc), it’s about the SOUR tour. So, after queuing in advance for six hours (we had standing tickets), we ran into the Manchester O2 Apollo with the energy of a hurricane. Standing our ground (quite literally) in a pretty decent area, close enough to see Rodrigo head to toe, we waited for the show to begin…

As the lights went down and the crowd went silent, Rodrigo’s opening act, Baby Queen ran on and the crowd cheered. Mostly known for her song Dover Beach, and a recent hit Colours of You written for the Netflix sensation Heartstopper, she definitely warmed the crowd up with her entertaining and candid song about laziness, sex, and her love for Jodie Comer called Want Me (I can relate to this song on another level). After an excellent non-stop set, Baby Queen left the stage as the fans waited with such anticipation for Rodrigo, otherwise known as ‘Liv’ by a surprising amount of people at the concert.

After ten minutes of water being passed around the entirety of the standing crowd by the staff, silence once again occurred as the lights vanished, leaving only the projected words ‘SOUR TOUR’ in purple writing to be seen on the grand curtains. Starting the concert off with a bang, the curtains opened as the band began building up to none other than the song Brutal, with Rodrigo entering the stage with “I want it to be like messy”. At this point the crowd roared and all phones went up in the air to catch this iconic entrance on camera.

Dressed in the Good 4 U cheerleading outfit from the music video, she continued to sing the entire album, also including the song All I Want from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, as well as treating the audience to Avril Lavigne’s Complicated. The crowd went wild before and after each song, cheering as soon as she gave away the slightest hint at the next song, and sang along to each one word for word. There was no doubt that some songs in particular hit home for people as many fans cried along to them, especially when it came to the more emotional songs Enough for You and 1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back, which Rodrigo intertwined together. And just to add to that relatability and honesty Rodrigo is known so well for, before she began singing each song she described how, why, and where she wrote them – the majority being in her bedroom with her piano, or taking certain lyrics she made up from the note’s app on her phone, or being asked to write a song in a very limited amount of time.

Owning the stage, Rodrigo moved around effortlessly as she came closer to her fans and then moved to sit/lie/stand on the piano centre stage. She rocked alongside the band on multiple occasions not only dancing with them but also giving them personal shoutouts, with the guitarists having their own solos midway through the concert.

Towards the end of the show, Rodrigo noticed the sea of ‘Fuck the Supreme Court’ posters people were holding up, in regard to the recent Roe vs Wade banning of abortions. In agreement with the posters, she reiterated their message and held her middle finger out in the air before she continued with her next song.

The show was truly magnificent, delivering an equal level of upbeat and energetic, and tranquil and composed. Both of which were extremely cathartic as the audience swayed or jumped together in unison depending on the song. Rodrigo is one of those artists who are genuinely incredible when performing live, sounding exactly the way she does on her album even with all the movement she incorporates in some of her songs. From watching her from the crowd, and the way she interacts with her fans, the band, and how she reflects on her own past, she seems sincerely grateful for the opportunity to perform for people and appears truly happy to be on this tiring and hectic international tour, remaining so humble despite her overnight worldwide fame. I was lucky enough to see her perform live in all of her glory, and I’m so happy I did. If you ever get the chance to watch her perform live, I would definitely recommend it. She is an extremely talented artist and I hope to attend one of her future concerts again at some point.

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Victoria Coleman

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August 2022
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