Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Olivia Rodrigo brings her paralyzing thrill of ‘GUTS’ to Boston

From sequins to seduction, Olivia Rodrigo brought her “GUTS” world tour to Boston for two sold-out consecutive stops at TD Garden.
Clara Faulkner

Drenched in a sea of shimmering purple sequins, fluttering butterfly merchandise, and the occasional vampire lurking in the crowd, Olivia Rodrigo brought her electrifying “GUTS” to Boston’s TD Garden for two unforgettable sold-out nights on her world tour. She’s a captivating blend of rockstar edge with pure pop appeal, and that unique fusion makes her so exciting and refreshing in the pop music scene.

With the recent drop of her “GUTS (spilled)” deluxe album, the internet and Boston alike have been buzzing about her musical prowess and the undeniable devotion of her largely young female fanbase. As a dedicated listener, I proudly recall skipping my senior prom just to catch the “SOUR” tour, and I can confidently say I’d make the same choice again for “GUTS.”

The stage was set on fire from the very beginning as the “Pink Pony Club”’s reigning queen and self-proclaimed “Midwestern Princess,” Chappell Roan, took the spotlight. Roan’s presence was nothing short of mesmerizing, complete with a bedazzled cowgirl hat, a vibrant blue gem bodysuit, and wild ginger curls that paid homage to Disney’s Merida from “Brave.”

One particular highlight of the evening, and a personal favorite of mine, was Roan’s performance of “HOT TO GO”—a spirited anthem that had more than half the stadium on their feet, enthusiastically joining in the “YMCA”-like hand gestures to spell out the song’s infectious title track. The energy was electric, and Roan’s charisma was palpable as she commanded the stage.

As anticipation peaked, Rodrigo made her grand entrance onto the stage amidst a screen monologue. The screen depicted her dancing through an enchanting black-and-white monochromatic sequence, culminating in a dramatic knock on a purple wall-like surface, showcasing her iconic “GUTS” knuckle rings. There she stood, resplendent in a two-piece diamond-encrusted ensemble, kicking off the night with the infectious energy of “bad idea right.”

The crowd erupted into screams and cheers, singing along passionately to a medley of Rodrigo’s hits. She seamlessly changed outfits four times throughout the evening, each ensemble reflecting a different facet of the night’s vibe. A standout moment was during Rodrigo’s soulful ballad, “lacy.” The stage transformed into a circular formation, bathed in soft pink lights that sparkled from the top view of the stage camera. Her dancers glided across the stage in muted pink ballet shoe-tinted bodysuits, adorned with bows, echoing the melodic lyrics of “lacy” that speak of caring “like ribbons in your hair.”

Rodrigo’s “drivers license” was undeniably a highlight of the night. Not only is it her breakthrough single, but it’s become a heartbreak anthem for so many girls. I’m right there with you—I sang my heart out to every word, regardless of my less-than-stellar singing abilities. Then came “love is embarrassing,” the Disney vibes were out in full force, stealing the show. The choreography for this song was a perfect mix of silly and accurate, capturing that feeling of being irrevocably, insatiably, and insanely in love.

Moments like these make live performances truly special when the music and the visuals come together to create an unforgettable experience. Dancing along to “love is embarrassing” was like stepping into a whimsical love story, where the awkwardness and passion of love were beautifully intertwined.

Transitioning from these delicate melodies to a pulsating rockstar energy, Rodrigo delivered an electrifying performance during “obsessed,” a brand new track from her deluxe album that had become a viral sensation on social media. Clad in a daring deep-cut bedazzled red glitter romper, complete with ripped star fishnets, Rodrigo commanded the stage with fierce intensity. She worked every angle and engaged with every camera, shredding her guitar and captivating the audience. If her rock performance didn’t make you “obsessed” with your partner’s ex, nothing would, as she pounded the stage floor with a raw aggression that seemed to resonate with everyone in the room.

While much of the night was filled with fiery passion, there was a haunting moment of raw emotion during “vampire.” Rodrigo stood at the mic stand against a backdrop of a dark moon and blazing red stage lights. The lyrics of the song, “bloodsucker, famef*cker / bleeding me dry like a goddamn vampire,” echoed on the screen, accompanied by eerie shadows of figures running beneath a crimson background. Rodrigo seemed like a ghost haunting the audience as she sang, and the crowd sang the lyrics to her beneath the moonlight.

Throughout the evening, the moon and stars theme continued, culminating in a breathtaking moment where Rodrigo transformed the audience into her galaxy. Descending from the air, strapped onto a violet moon, she serenaded the crowd with her ballads “logical” and “enough for you.” Glowing stars descended from the ceiling of the TD Garden as she waved to fans in the stadium’s highest reaches, suspended in the air, singing and sitting on the moon. From my vantage point, I witnessed the pure joy and excitement of young fans, jumping with glee and attempting to capture a photo of Rodrigo from below.

While fans in the pit relished countless photo opportunities with the singer, Rodrigo took it a step further by venturing directly into the crowd during “jealousy, jealousy” and the show’s encore, “get him back.” She danced and pranced through the pit’s barricades, immersing herself in the infectious energy of her adoring fans. A cameraman followed her as she gathered gifts like cowgirl hats, a notebook, and more. 

It’s safe to say that the “GUTS”  tour ranks among the best, most energetically charged experiences ever. There’s an undeniable strength in a group of girls coming together, each with their own tales of heartbreak, and using these songs as our anthem. It’s like our collective soul was healed. Our emotions spilled out through every beat and lyric. “GUTS” has become a battlefield of emotion and a massacre of the teenage girl we all were when “SOUR” first dropped. 

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About the Contributor
Clara Faulkner
Clara Faulkner, Business Manager
Clara Faulkner wears multiple hats at the Beacon, serving as both the Business Director and the Living Arts Editor. Prior to assuming these roles, she demonstrated her expertise as an assistant editor, specializing in living arts—a domain she is deeply passionate about, fueled by her love for pop culture and entertainment. Additionally, Clara served as a writer for the Boston Globe, Boston.com, is a part of NBCUniversal Entertainment Group, and contributed to the music team at Intersect Magazine. In addition to her editorial responsibilities, Clara actively participates in various campus organizations, including SPJ, Associate Entertainment Producer at WEBN-TV, programming director at WECB. fm, and AEPHI. Outside of her writing pursuits, Clara immerses herself in culinary exploration, cinematic enjoyment, and language acquisition, consistently seeking fresh experiences and knowledge.
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