Music review: Olivia Rodrigo, Hydro, Glasgow

Olivia Rodrigo’s Glasgow show was full of angst and sass, but the highlights were in the humour, writes Fiona Shepherd

Olivia Rodrigo, Hydro, Glasgow ****

Olivia Rodrigo took the stage on her Guts world tour wearing a silver glittery bra top and ra-ra skirt, but this onetime Disney princess was ready to stamp over that image with her big bovva boots, ballsy tunes and smart, quasi-satirical lyrics. The appeal to her peers was obvious as they bellowed along to opening number bad idea, right? a cheerleader pop call-and-response on which she debates the (de)merits of getting back with your ex, before her female band let rip with some surf rock brio.

“We’re gonna have so much fun!” she promised, as she launched into the witty ballad of a homeschooled girl, a thoroughly entertaining track typical of her irreverent attitude. Unlike the Twilight generation, she was not best pleased with her vampire boyfriend. The next moment, he’s running off to another girl on traitor.

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Olivia Rodrigo PIC: Jason Kempin/Getty ImagesOlivia Rodrigo PIC: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Olivia Rodrigo PIC: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

But there was only so long she could keep up the sass before she was off to the piano for the teen angst emoting of her breakthrough hit drivers license, while an arena full of teen and pre-teen girls took heart in her assurance that “growing up is nothing to be afraid of”. Take it from a 21-year-old veteran who addressed body image on pretty isn’t pretty and threw herself into the daffy, deliberately awkward dance routine of love is embarrassing.

There were pretty moments too – Rodrigo floating over the crowd in a crescent moon with dangling stars all around and a Busby Berkeley-style routine to tremulous ballad lacy. But the highlights were in the humour – sending herself up on power pop number so american, the punky brutal with its righteous rock-out intro, strapping on an electric guitar and engaging in a fun guitar duel on obsessed and flaunting her rebel colours on all-american bitch.

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