By Steve Carlson //
There’s something devilishly unassuming about Troye Sivan. Maybe it’s his svelte, boyish appearance, which doesn’t immediately scream “pop star.” Or, maybe it’s his candor and approachability, his willingness to share his intimate thoughts and fears from the stage.
Whatever it is, once Sivan took the stage at the Fox Theater Oakland last Monday as part of his 44-date “Blue Neighbourhood Tour,” he immediately erased any doubts one might have had about his readiness for the spotlight.
Opening the show was enigmatic Canadian-turned-Los Angeleno songstress Allie X (born Alexandra Ashley Hughes), who also happened to co-write many of the songs on Sivan’s debut LP Blue Neighbourhood. Taking the stage in sunglasses and a dress that could best be described as oversized loofah material, Hughes showed off impressive theatricality with a style that seemed like a cross between Charli XCX and a Disney princess. One of the benefits of opening for an artist like Sivan is that you’re sure to have a full house early, as most of the die-hard fans had lined up early in the day, and Allie X made the most of the opportunity and was well-received in return.
Shortly thereafter, Sivan, cloaked in fog and and backlit by a spotlight, kicked off the night with the haunting track “Bite” off his new album, and things only got better from there. The sold-out venue, comprised of at least 80 percent teenage girls by this reviewer’s estimation, was nearly euphoric by the time the South African-born Australian’s energetic opening song was done, and the energy didn’t let down for the entire set. It wasn’t unusual to even witness grown adults racing back to their seats from the bar at various points in the set as the opening notes of other numbers were being played. That’s the kind of effect Sivan seems to have over people already.
It’s really quite amazing to think that Sivan has only been at this touring thing for a relatively short period of time. Although he’s dabbled in acting and music going well back into his teens and has been a YouTube sensation for several years (he boasts almost 4 million subscribers), he’s relatively inexperienced as a live performer. Sivan only began touring this past October, but he is much more polished and confident onstage than his age and experience would imply. His tight backing band, which includes Miley Cyrus’ keyboardist, probably helps with that, as they provided a solid sonic backdrop for his vocal talents. Given the fast start Sivan is off to, it’ll be very interesting to watch his career develop over the next few years.
Love Yourself (Justin Bieber cover) (acoustic)
Happy Little Pill (acoustic)
Talk Me Down