Review: Olivia Rodrigo at 713 Music Hall

Olivia Rodrigo
713 Music Hall
12 May 2022

Throw your mind back, PTSD permitting, to 2021. America has been trying to break out of a pandemic lockdown and it seems that all anyone can talk about is whether the presidential election was stolen (it wasn’t) and whether the states were disguised Whether or not our civil rights violated (they are not).

Chances are also when you became familiar with the name Olivia Rodrigo. Previous High School Musical: The Musical: Series (You read that right) The star released the single “Driving License” and “Good 4 u”, and it became practically inevitable on the radio (more so if you’re the parent of an 11-year-old). Her first album – so far – the only one sour Followed by it, becoming one of the best sellers of the year.

Not bad for someone who hasn’t yet reached their 20th birthday.

Being so young, and with only one album under her belt (although three million “units” have already been transferred), it necessarily means a somewhat shortened group. Rodrigo wouldn’t let that stop her, and even if she wanted to, the 713 Music Hall audience that one might call “excited” probably wouldn’t have cared for him.

With this in mind, it is worth considering whether a larger place might be more suitable or not? We arrived before 8:00 or about 10 minutes, and it took almost an hour of queuing Disneyland style to get in. Apparently people were camping outside on a Thursday morning, which took me back to the time my parents dropped my ass off in eighth grade with a book to wait in line for public admissions for a cheap trick.

But more on that later. From the first jump (“brutal”) through the entirety sourmore than HSM: TM: TS Cut (“All I Want”), into a few songs chosen most likely for their influence on a particular young aspiring singer (including No Doubt’s “Just A Girl”), owned by Rodrigo. Did I say the Turnpike Troubadours show was vocals? Rodrygo could have had spontaneous laryngitis and the crowd would have kept the show from losing rhythm.

Click to enlarge Maybe Rodrygo wasn't really like that "I hope that you are well" - Picture of Robin Tawazon

Maybe Rodrygo isn’t really hoping.

Photo by Robin Tawazon

And did you spot a hint of punk rock? “Brutality” and “Jealousy, Jealousy” were particularly aggressive even without E.E. Cummings lacking capital letters, although perhaps the biggest cheers of the night came when Rodrygo donned a cowboy hat before asking, “Houston, how do you feel?” My eardrums are telling me we were really fine.

During the tough numbers, Rodrygo was approaching the stage, dressed in the stands because of course, climbing to interact with the crowds right and left. For “I hope you’re alright” and the mix of “Enough/ 1 step forward, 3 steps back”, it was just her and an acoustic guitar. For “driving license” and “traitor” piano.

These aren’t complicated songs (except perhaps for their cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”), mostly a straightforward hymn to Lost Love and the Boys Who Have Mistaken Rodrigo. And that seems to bother people who find it too…focusing on bad relationships? You managed to sing about the same dirty bands that have been whining for decades?

Rodrygo’s allure is definitely geared towards teenage/twenty-year-olds. Specifically, those who can handle a heart-felt affection on your sleeve that perhaps lack the accompanying quirkiness, say, Billie Eilish. I may be a tenth generation music writer, but I can remember seeing shows as a young man that resonated with me and made me sing/scream with every word. And I saw it last night, in my daughter among many others.

Call me naive, but things like this give me hope.

How was the opening? What we saw from Holly Humberston was really good. The British singer-songwriter stated that she felt “a lot of love”, although she delayed the closing number “The Walls Are Way Too Thin” to get help for an unconscious couple. Her music has a beautiful, explosive feel of the sky, and it impressed the audience of 713 people admirably.

personal bias: Will I criticize Rodrigo for being made? I paid money to see the Spice Girls in Vegas, for Christ’s sake.

crowd: Huge and fresh with a good nature. The commodity line was ten times as long as the line at the bar.

Heard in the crowd: “My vape is over.”

Random notebook dump: “I think bras are outerwear again.”

Make the list

Jealousy and jealousy
driver’s license
Complicated (Avril Lavigne cover)
I hope that you are well
Enough for you / 1 step forward, 3 steps back
all what I want
Just a Girl (cover without a doubt)
favorite crime
deja vu
good 4

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