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Olivia Rodrigo Spills Her Guts in New York City – The Fordham Ram


Rodrigo drew inspiration from other pop icons for her style. (Courtesy of Mary Hawthorn for The Fordham Ram)

Olivia Rodrigo concluded the North American leg of her GUTS World Tour with four sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. The “drivers license” icon asserted her dominance in the music industry once again by putting on one of the best concerts of 2024. Rodrigo’s confidence on stage, detailed set design, engagement with the audience and pure musical talent is a reminder that she is the “perfect all-American.” 

Firstly, the excitement and energy of the crowd was unbelievable. There were times it was actually difficult to hear Rodrigo because of how loudly fans were belting the lyrics. Everyone knew every word to every song, and this made the concert that much more special. This was especially true when Rodrigo started off the set with her No. 1 Billboard hit “bad idea right?” 

The best part about this concert — and what, in my opinion, makes it different from others — is Rodrigo’s production and set design. The visuals and graphics were so unique, ranging from baby videos of Rodrigo to a giant floating moon in the center of the Garden. Before the show began, there were four giant purple candles on the stage that spelled “GUTS.” After they burned, Rodrigo took the stage. These candles are just one testament to Rodrigo’s creativity, attention to detail and effort to engage the audience in every aspect of the show, even technically before it began. Simply waiting for her to go on stage was fun for the audience. 

Another captivating element of the set was when Rodrigo sang “logical” and “enough for you” on the floating crescent moon. Glowing stars descended and filled the stadium, creating an otherworldly atmosphere; it was almost cinematic. It allowed for everyone, no matter where you were sitting, to wave and interact with her. Having these slow ballads to contrast her rock anthems was the perfect balance. Rodrigo is so unique in that she can switch from one aesthetic to the next while keeping everyone engaged.  

The costumes could simply be described as ’90s/Y2K “cool girl.” As noted by Harper’s Bazaar, “Rodrigo’s style has undergone a pop-punk metamorphosis since she first started in the entertainment industry.” This certainly remained true on stage with outfits ranging from a custom Swarovski silver bralette and skirt set to a seemingly effortlessly chic white tank and glitter mini skirt. What I love about Rodrigo’s style is that she is unapologetically herself, which aligns with her vulnerable lyrics about the life of a 21-year-old girl. Further, her style was a major part of this tour and fostered a sense of community at the show. The audience wore entirely red and purple, Rodrigo’s signature colors, along with platform boots, plaid mini skirts, lace bows and lots of glitter. 


In addition to her ’90s/Y2K teen girl aesthetic, Rodrigo’s sense of fashion shares a lot of similarities with Gwen Stefani, particularly her white cropped tank top with lettering. There are many instances where Stefani rocked this simple look, such as her 1996 performance of “No Doubt” in Los Angeles, according to British Vogue. In fact, just a few days ago, Rodrigo performed with Stefani at Coachella in the same look. 

Although this concert is definitely unique from any other, I think we can compare elements of it to Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour.  For one thing, fans went all out. Clothes, hair, signs, everything. There were even people dressed as actual vampires in honor of Rodrigo’s hit, “vampire.” Secondly, her stage presence and graphics took the show to the next level. There were background dancers, colorful lighting, YK2 filters on the big screen and cameras in the stage itself to give unique aerial-looking shots of Rodrigo. Like The Era’s Tour, it was far more than just a performance, but a cinematic experience. 

Finally, at the end of the show, Rodrigo took time to hug, receive gifts and take pictures with hundreds of fans on the floor. I loved this aspect of the show because it highlights how humble she is, in addition to being such a talented musician. Overall, it is safe to say that Rodrigo proved she is a pop icon here to stay, and I look forward to her next show in New York City. 

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