Olivia Rodrigo’s first show at the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival: How did she do?


Olivia Rodrigo singing “jealousy, jealousy.” Photo provided by Trinity Delacruz

Trinity Delacruz, Copy Editor

It all began when I was scrolling on Instagram and happened upon an ad. Now, I don’t usually pay attention to Instagram ads, but this one got my attention: “Buy a ticket and you can bring a friend for free. Performing Olivia Rodrigo.”

Of course, the words “for free” and “Olivia Rodrigo” stuck out to me. The lineup included 24kGoldn, Russell Dickerson, Tate McRae, Conan Gray, Gabby Barrett, Yungblud, All Time Low, Saweetie, The Kid Laroi, and Olivia Rodrigo.

So many amazing artists including Olivia Rodrigo performing within the span of one concert that’s selling BOGO tickets? Of course I had to give in. I ended up getting four tickets for the price of two.

I went with my sister, Nia Delacruz ’24, her friend, Madison Lising ’24, and Madison’s dad. We took a plane to Las Vegas, where the festival was located. (As I sat on the plane, I prayed that we wouldn’t perish underneath the heat of Vegas.)

Trinity with Nia and Madison at the festival! Photo provided by Trinity Delacruz

When we finally arrived, we saw countless Olivia Rodrigo t-shirts and Olivia Rodrigo-inspired outfits. You could almost feel the entire festival’s anticipation for Olivia Rodrigo.

So of course, the iHeartRadio Festival placed her last on the setlist.

Luckily, the artists performing before her were absolutely amazing and entirely entertaining. (Honorable mention goes out to 24kGoldn, Conan Gray, All Time Low, and Saweetie. They were my favorites.) But by the time the last singer, The Kid Laroi, ended his performance, the excitement for Olivia Rodrigo was almost palpable.

After waiting about 10 minutes (which felt like an eternity), the first notes of “brutal” finally fell upon our [adjective] ears. And once we saw Olivia Rodrigo strut across the stage to her sparkly, purple mic stand, the crowd went wild.

Olivia Rodrigo performing on stage. Photo provided by Trinity Delacruz

As she began singing, and the entire standing crowd rushed forward to get closer to our beloved icon, as if to fully immerse themselves into the Rodrigo Experience.

She ended up performing “brutal,” “jealousy, jealousy,” “drivers license,” “traitor,” and ended with “good 4 u.”

The question is, how did Olivia Rodrigo do? How was her performance overall?

(I would like to preface this by saying: I love Olivia Rodrigo. I promise you I’m a big fan. I have most of “SOUR” memorized by now. But I have to tell you the truth.)

It was… okay.

First, let me describe the conditions we were in.

To begin, there were no seats in front of the stage. So the entire audience was standing while being cooked alive by the 91° heat of Las Vegas. (I guess my prayers were left unanswered.) On top of that, a single Arrowhead water bottle costed a whopping $6, and the other drinks were even more expensive.

Interestingly enough, the festival did provide free Wendy’s. We were able to get free sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches, fries, and iced coffees. However, from personal experience, I can tell you that downing two iced coffees when you’re thirsty is not a good substitute for water.

By the time Olivia got to perform, the audience (including myself) was clearly already tired and fatigued. The concert started at 11:30 a.m., and it was now around 4:30 p.m. I was standing shoulder to shoulder with some extremely sweaty people. And since I was back to back with people taller than me, I could barely see the stage in front of me.

These conditions probably tainted my views at least a little bit.

While on stage, Olivia Rodrigo announced, “I don’t know if you guys know this, but this is a really special day for me, because this is my first show.”

Since this was Olivia’s first show, she was probably scared. She did seem very nervous. She even sang “driver’s license” a bit lower and slower, probably for it to fit comfortably in her range.

For the fact that we had to wait the entire concert to see Olivia perform, her stage time was way too short. At the end of her performance, the crowd chanted, “Encore! Encore! Encore!” But unfortunately, our beloved Olivia did not suffice.

Nevertheless, it was truly amazing to see how much support people had for Olivia, and it was great to be a part of that. I could almost feel a sense of unity screaming the lyrics to “good 4 u” in harmony with hundreds of diverse fans.

But overall, her performance was okay. I know Olivia Rodrigo currently doesn’t have much experience, but she’s bound to improve as she continues performing on stage. It was amazing to see the Olivia Rodrigo in the flesh, and I’m super glad I bought those BOGO tickets.