Troye Sivan @ o2 Academy, 26th February 2019

The o2 Academy swirled in neon colours and glitter face paint, the smell of teen spirit intermixing with the bubbling chatter of Troye Sivan fans. The Australian dance pop heartthrob has evolved from Youtube covers to sold out shows.   He has graced the stage with some of the largest pop acts including Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. Mixing together euphoric dance instrumentals with softly sweet and reflective lyrics, Sivan has matured to a pop icon in his own right. With unbridled joy and energy Troye Sivan commanded the O2 Academy stage, giving a performance that was youthfully gleeful and electric.

An atmospheric boom cut through the blackened stage, screams of excitement filling the room. As the band invaded the stage, subdued electric pop waves washed over the room, fans holding their breath waiting for the appearance of Troye. In an unconventional move Troye appeared not from the stage but rather from the balcony, an overlord greeting his devoted community. The night opened with electro pop ’17,’ a clear fan favourite. The ambient electro pop whipped the room into a frenzy, fans singing loudly along as Troye introduced the Bloom tour. 

The elated pop continued as ‘Bloom’ and ‘Plum’ streamed in. With all hands up fans bopped along to the records, infusing the room with an electric energy. A little break found Sivan verbalizing his love of fans, something that is obvious throughout the night. There is a deep connection between Sivan and his fans, a sort of cult leader leading his flock. After the quick check in, acoustically tinged soft electronic pop ‘Heaven’ broke in. The song covers Sivan’s reflection on coming out, the sonically stripped song bringing about a sense of beauty and hope for the potentially difficult reality of conversation. As the room was bathed in rainbow colours you could tell that the song was not merely a loved tune, it was one that was felt deeply by the individuals in the crowd, their own lives intertwining with the emotions of ‘Heaven.’ 

The sombre reflection was quickly broken by tempo shifting ‘Fools.’ As fans voices collided with Sivan’s the song morphed into a triumphant anthem for young love. ‘Lucky Strike’ continued the growing excitement and energy. The electronic R+B pop tune with its drum heavy beat found Sivan cat walking across the stage as fans danced along. 

As the dancing continued the temperature in the O2 Academy escalated, creating a sauna like heat in the room. Sivan took a dance pause for a wellness check, handing out water from the stage to make sure everyone was hydrated for ‘Wild.’ The driving pop hit drove fans insane, singing wildly along and dancing with euphoric frenzy. A new single released with Lauv, ‘I’m So Tired’ seamlessly transitioned into sombre sentimental ‘Postcard’ and breakup song ‘The Good Side.’ With a breathy section the trio of songs lulled fans into a comfortable transcendent moment, quickly overturned with whimsical ‘The Good Side’ and moody ‘What A Heavenly Way to Die.’ 

With a slight rock edge ‘Bite,’ a hauntingly euphoric emotionally driven dark pop rock record, shows Sivan’s brilliance of mixing atmospheric instrumentals with dance vibes. ‘1999,’ a song released with Charli XCX, bathed the room in a flurry of lights, everyone jumping with glee by the end of the song. Sivan wrapped up the evening with megahits, pop perfection ‘Dance to This’ and cinematic ‘Animals. After a short lull Sivan returned for an encore performance that included breakout single ‘Youth’ and fan favourite ‘My My My!’  

There is an unmistakable energy that is exuded from stage and from fans at a Troye Sivan show. Perhaps it is the release of teen energy that creates the energy, or perhaps it is that pure tribalistic congregation that results in a flurry of energy and emotions. Whatever it may be, Troye Sivan has perfectly curated and controlled his stage, delivering a transformative night of pop perfection.

Sivan is more than a mere pop artist he is a genuine leader of a community that needs messages of love and assurance, something that Sivan delivers sonically. At the O2 Academy Troye Sivan transformed the night, creating a communal experience that exploded with unbridled joy and enthusiasm. 

Reviewer: Kylie McCormick

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