Music

No ‘Sour’ Faces at Olivia Rodrigo’s Chicago Performance

Juliana LogliDisney actress and Grammy-winning popstar Olivia Rodrigo electrified Chicago audiences for two nights ­— deja vu, anyone?

Pop superstar Olivia Rodrigo delivered a breathtaking performance at the Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom (1106 W. Lawrence Ave.) April 15 during her worldwide “Sour” tour. 

Social media accounts dedicated to the tour showed fans of all ages lining up as early as 3 a.m. at the 5,000 person venue. 

The energy was high before the performance started, with concertgoers singing and dancing to the music playing as people piled in.

Opener Gracie Abrams was welcomed by the audience chanting her name and throwing gifts to the stage mid-performance. She expressed her gratitude for the lively audience and described the Aragon Ballroom as a “cosmic fairytale.” Abram’s upbeat heartbreak songs such as “I miss you, I’m sorry” and “Block me out” fit with the theme of Rodrigo’s emotionally chaotic “Sour.” 

Between sets, One Direction’s 2015 hit “Olivia” began to play while fans loudly sang along, knowing the song signaled Rodrigo was about to begin.

Rodrigo’s band of four took the stage first, playing the intro of “brutal.” Rodrigo then ran on stage, greeted by the crowd erupting in cheers and screams. She followed with the second song of the night, a rock rendition of “jealousy, jealousy.” The song ends with Rodrigo exclaiming, “What a f-ing crowd!” resulting in louder cheers from her Chicago fans. 

“They say these are the golden years / But I wish I could disappear / Ego crush is so severe / God, it’s brutal out here,” Rodrigo belted as the crowd nearly drowned out her vocals.

After an outfit change, the three-time Grammy award winner proceeded with her most popular song “drivers license,” playing a sparkly grand piano. 

She then played her purple guitar and performed the more poignant songs on the album, such as “1 step forward, 3 steps back” and “happier.” The crowd passionately screamed along to the sad lyrics. 

“It’s always one step forward and three steps back / Do you love me, hate me, want me? Boy I don’t understand,” Rodrigo stops singing as the sold-out venue carries the song. 

The final performance of the night was the fast and rage-filled “good 4 u,” accompanied by purple and blue confetti, along with white confetti shaped as butterflies with printed lyrics in Rodrigo’s handwriting. 

In addition to performing all of the songs on “Sour,” Rodrigo covered Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” and Veruca Salt’s “Seether.” She also included the original award-winning song “All I Want” she wrote for the Disney+ original series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” in which she plays the lead. 

Rodrigo’s first album set a standard for near popstar perfection. Then she performed live.

Despite this being her first tour, Rodrigo shined with confidence with her compelling performance. The Disney stars’ vocals echoed around the ballroom, proving the talent shown on her 2021 album. She makes each performance unique by adding vocal riffs while jumping and skipping around the stage. 

The shiny tinsel backdrop and colorful lights behind Rodrigo and her band were minimal but effective, allowing Rodrigo’s talent to shine. 

Rodrigo’s performance was anything but sour.

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