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Review: Pop supernova Olivia Rodrigo, the newcomer, performs like a seasoned pro in Minneapolis

Olivia Rodrigo did it backwards. She sang on quite a few TV applications and award exhibits — together with the Grammys twice — earlier than she ever carried out a live performance.

That is not the way it’s alleged to work, is it?

Billie Eilish made her Twin Cities debut within the tiny seventh Avenue Entry. Adele launched herself to Minneapolis on the smallish now-defunct Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Taylor Swift’s first native look was at a radio station showcase on the modest-sized Fantasy nightclub.

Rodrigo, 19, pop’s newest supernova who final week grabbed three Grammys (together with finest new artist), made her Twin Cities debut Thursday evening on the immediately sold-out Armory. It was solely her seventh live performance below her personal identify — and certain the primary live performance ever for among the 8,000 tween and teenage women who have been fortunate sufficient to snag tickets when demand may need warranted two nights in an area.

Regardless of her lack of live performance expertise, Rodrigo dealt with herself like a seasoned professional. She learn her adoring, flower-bearing, sing-along-to-every-song followers like an entry in her diary. Twice, she noticed an island of flashing cellphone lights in the midst of the jam-packed standing crowd on predominant flooring and abruptly stopped in mid-song. She requested what was flawed, followers shouted for water and Rodrigo requested safety employees to assist.

Then the rookie began every track once more from the highest — and delivered it with overwhelming fervor the second time round.

That is the factor about Rodrigo: She brings the urgency and angst of punk-pop with the small print and introspection of folk-pop. And, like a teen hooked on heightened feelings, she sang each track as if it seemingly concerned life-or-death penalties.

Taking the stage after a broadcast of “Olivia,” a 2015 deep monitor by One Route, Rodrigo exploded into “Brutal,” a blast of indignant punk-pop. “I’m sick of 17,” she snarled. “Where’s my [bleeping] teenage dream?” Sorry Mothers, she drops an occasional F-bomb.

Rodrigo’s music is stuffed with the push and crush of teenybopper romance. She sings rather a lot about her ex-boyfriend(s) transferring on too rapidly to his subsequent girlfriend(s). Oh, the anxieties and insecurities of being an adolescent. Rodrigo captures it higher in track than any teen singer-songwriter since Swift.

Just like the Swifties and Eyelashes, the Livies sang alongside Thursday to each single track — all 11 of them — from Rodrigo’s “Sour,” one of many largest and finest albums of 2021.

The newcomer balanced ballads on piano and guitar with a couple of full-blast rockers together with her backup quartet. In a daring transfer, she did not save her largest smash for the finale however moderately performed “Drivers License” because the third quantity. The piano ballad of — what else? – betrayal and heartache was an ideal change of tempo after her thrashing opener “Brutal” and the electro-pop self-loathing of “Jealousy Jealousy” (“I think I think too much”).

Thursday’s performances have been devoted recreations of Rodrigo’s album, with added area oomph from the drums and a few pedal metal guitar seasoning on “Favorite Crime,” one of many highlights. Whereas her band was super-charged and Rodrigo was clearly amped, she demonstrated spectacular management of her potent, keening voice, from a purr to a roar.

The exuberant newcomer commanded the stage, stomping, twirling and skipping round, standing on a grand piano in her white Doc Martens boots, even singing whereas mendacity on her again atop the piano and getting comfortable sitting on the sting of the stage. She did a couple of numbers solo on acoustic guitar and performed piano backed by her band.

With lower than 35 minutes of music on “Sour,” Rodrigo wanted to fill out her too-brief 64-minute set. She added “All I Want,” a post-breakup monitor she wrote three years in the past for her awkwardly titled Disney TV present “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” and two covers of hits older than she is, Avril Lavigne’s 2002 ode to phoniness “Complicated” and Veruca Salt’s 1994 grunge-y guitar exercise “Seether.”

Whereas each of those Gen X classics have been a part of her upbringing, “Seether” was a favourite in her mother’s automotive. And Thursday evening was particular as a result of it was the primary time Mother was seeing Rodrigo in live performance. Say “Hi Jen,” she urged the devoted and, in fact, they obliged with full throated quantity.

Little particulars clearly matter to Rodrigo. Like her all-female backup band; her plaid skirt and crop high lined with a large coronary heart; her shout-out to opening act Gracie Abrams, 22, one in every of her influences; moments together with her mother, and her butterfly-shaped confetti lined with handwritten messages, lyrics and track titles.

The message of the live performance was clear: Do not be ashamed or apologetic in your emotions. Simply allow them to out. It is necessary and cathartic.

jon.bream@startribune.com Twitter: @jonbream 612-673-1719



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