Review of the Olivia Rodrigo Guts tour in New York City

I know I will shed a tear or two at this point Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” Tour. After all, I’m just a girl. On April 6, three times Grammy Award winner performed the second of four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City. And for an hour and a half on Saturday night, Rodrigo reminded us of the good, the bad and the ugly of girlhood.

A bag decorated with ribbon bows was slung over my shoulder, and I shouted with anticipation. the crowd was full of sequin miniskirts, shimmery purple eyeshadow and fishnet tights as Rodrigo took the stage to perform opening number “Bad Idea Right.” Surprisingly, the audience is not only teenagers, children and their parents. A surprising handful of adults in their 20s and 30s like me were also willing to dance and sing along to tunes from her second album, “Guts” and their critically acclaimed debut album, “Sour”. I imagine we loved the concert for the same reason I enjoyed her music – she made us feel like we were teenagers again.

The internet is full of thoughts and analyzes on TikTok that explain Rodrigo’s popularity among women older than her: it is fueled by our nostalgia for girlhood and the desire to go back to our childhood. Singing along to her lyrics at the “Guts” Tour, I definitely felt it, and I saw it on the faces of the millennials in the crowd on Saturday night. She took us, her devoted fans, through anxiety, nostalgia, sadness and of course extreme joy.

A few months ago, I saw Rodrigo perform bigger hits like “Get Him Back!” and “Vampire” at Z100’s Jingle Ball, so I got to know her performing ability. On the “Guts” Tour, her voice was raw, filled with raw passion and emotion, and her pop-punk energy was unmatched. But her more vulnerable ballads are especially moving when heard live.

When Rodrigo sings about feeling like you’re not pretty enough against society’s impossible beauty standards in “Pretty Is not Pretty” and putting yourself out there for the one you love – who’s so undeserving – in “Love Is Embarrassing”, she brought me back to those exact feelings I experienced in high school and college, even at times in my late twenties. In a special moment while introducing “Teenage Dream,” she talked about writing the song as an 18-year-old girl, terrified of growing up. But after turning 21 at the end of February, she realized that getting older isn’t scary at all. Admittedly, I chuckled because she was only 21, but that was the same sentiment I felt then and now.

She cycles between emotional ballads like these and fiery upbeat tracks that keep everyone on their feet. During her performance of “All American Bitch,” she encouraged the crowd to “think of someone or something that annoys you” and scream their lungs out. It has medicinal effects.

So thank you Rodrigo for taking me back to those fun, messy days, but also reminding me why I felt so relieved to get over that period in my life. My other takeaway from that final encore? Maybe you can text your ex. Pull him back!

After two more nights at MSG, the “Guts” Tour will hit the UK and Europe in May and June and wrap up in August in Los Angeles.

Yerin Kim is features editor at POPSUGAR, where she helps shape the vision for special features and packages across the network. A graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, she has more than five years of experience in the field of popular culture and women’s living spaces. She is passionate about spreading cultural sensitivity through the lens of lifestyle, entertainment and style.

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