You could have mistaken last night’s Marquee gig for the closing scene in a coming of age movie, as prom queen, pop princess Olivia Rodrigo had the mostly teenage crowd rocking to lyrics about young love, under the dazzling lights of a giant disco ball.
The Californian 19-year-old has only just graduated high school herself, but has already been rocketed into superstardom with her starring role in the High School Musical tv remake, her record breaking debut single ‘drivers licence’, and her triple Grammy award winning first album ‘Sour’.
Tickets were like gold dust for Rodrigo’s highly anticipated Live at the Marquee gig.
The Gen-Z crowd was warmed up by bubble-gum pink, space bun punk artist Baby Queen, who like Rodrigo has garnered much of her fame and young fanbase through viral online hits, with singles such as ‘Online Dating’, ‘Buzzkill’, and ‘Colours of You’ – the latter used to promote the Netflix series Heartstopper on TikTok.
It was almost 9:20pm before Olivia burst on stage to her angsty teenage anthem ‘brutal’, and the electric energy in the room didn’t once waver as Rodrigo made her way through every track in her repertoire.
“Hi Cork how are ya doing? You look so pretty,” she said in her sing-song voice, adding that it’s the first time she’s ever been to Ireland.
Later in the night, while donning a sequined cowboy hat that sparkled with the Irish tricolour, she added: “You’re the best crowd I’ve ever seen in my life!” It was a night of cathartic girl power as Olivia and her all female band rocked the big top with every viral hit from ‘Sour’, as well as her High School Musical track ‘All I Want’, and covers of Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’, and ‘Ready to Go’ by Republica.
You could hardly see tiny Rodrigo over the sea of phones snapping, FaceTiming, and TikTok-ing every second of her high octane performance, and at some points could barely hear her over the roar of adoring fans who knew every word.
With billions of streams racked up on her music, the eyes of the world are on Rodrigo right now – but the TikTok sensation danced across the stage like she was in her bedroom and nobody was watching - an energy matched by her screaming fans.
As the curtains close and the credits roll on this year’s Live at the Marquee, there could have been no better final show than that of the all-American High School sweetheart, turned pink rock pop powerhouse.