Words: Will Stroude
“Holy f**king shit. I feel like I’m in the Lizzie Maguire movie or something”, exclaimed a breathless Troye Sivan as he soaked up waveupon wave of bone-rattling screams from the sold-out crowd of gay and girls London’s Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Thursday night (28 February).
After years of enjoying fevered YouTube fandom before turning his considerable talents to music six years ago, you’d think the 23-year-old singer would be used the clamour that surrounds his every move, but such is the connection he has with his fans that you never sense the young star from Perth takes his considerable and still-growing fame for granted.
That easy intimacy was clear the offset on The Bloom Tour' last night as Troye sprung from behind the red curtain to launch into coming-of-age anthem ‘Seventeen’ just feet from the fans, before eventually revealing the impressive set that would form the basis of this boisterous live set.
Having re-affirmed his position as one of the world’s most captivating LGBT talents on last year’s sophomore album Bloom, Troye spent the night establishing himself as a star who’s more than ready to break out from the ‘queer artist’ box he’s so-ably filled since his 2016 debut Blue Neighbourhood reeled in listeners with its intoxicating mix of deft pop hooks and yearning lyricism.
After tearing through early fan favourites ‘Bloom’ and ‘Plum’, the first major celebration of Troye’s vital place in the music landscape came on coming out anthem ‘Heaven’. “Do we have any members of the LGBTQ community here?” he asked with a nod and a wink, before sharing inspiring words about his own coming out journey with the young audience in attendance.
Thanks to some clever pre-planning, the venue was soon lit-up with a sea of rainbow as fans shone their camera lights through coloured filters; the chorus of cheers only interrupted by the odd sniffle from those old enough to know how much has changed so quickly.
As well as giving Blue Neighbourhood its well-earned dues with renditions of past love-lorn singles ‘Fools’ and Wild’, Sivan kept the energy high with recent Lauv and Charli XCX collaborations ‘I’m so Tired’ and ‘1999’, proving on the latter that he can deliver a straight-up bratty pop banger with the best of them.
A performer who’s always bounced around stage like a puppy on a sugar-high, Troye seems to have finally channelled his natural energy into more polished and confident moves, strutting around stage with the same excited abandon of his early days but the feeing-your-oats swagger of someone who’s finally learning to embrace his pin-up status.
He pulled at the heartstrings with equal success: The nostalgic melancholy of break-up ballad ‘The Good Side’ and ‘What a Heavenly Way to Die’ were delivered from a sofa centred in cleverly staged living room set-up, while the sweeping vocal scope of midnight anthem ‘Animal’ proved Troye's is a voice that deserves to be heard one day in even bigger venues.
The reflective moments were short-lived though: As well as leading a rendition of ‘Happy birthday’ for a young male fan whose grandmother had written to him beforehand (cue more sniffles), a two-track encore consisting of the euphoric in ‘Youth’ and the grimy, sexy ‘My My My!’ - which here received a poppers o’clock dance remix - sent fans out into the night feeling like they’d spent the night not in the presence of, but rather, with, their idol.
As debates rage about the status of queer artists in the pop music landscape at large, Troye Sivan has proved that he’s a musician whose profile deserves to grow far and beyond the LGBT and teen pop audiences that rightly lap him up. But when as a community we’re getting front row seats to shows this good, part of you kind of wants to keep him all to ourselves…
i'm so tired... (Lauv & Troye Sivan cover)
The Good Side
What a Heavenly Way to Die
1999 (Charli XCX & Troye Sivan cover)
Dance to This
My My My!