Concert Review: Troye Sivan Live In Auckland

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As I write this review I am still on such a high, which I think is a combination of a great show and all the sugar I consumed. If you were at the show, you know what I’m talking about. But for those of you who weren’t or those who want to reminisce, let me recap how I saw the night.

As the doors opened to Spark Arena, a huge group of people were gathered in front of two entries. This group, which was technically a line, ran down the road. The line was full of excited young people, all dressed up and ready to get in. When they got in, they headed straight to their seat. Around half the crowd had packed in when the opening act took the stage.

Gamilaraay wahine, Thelma Plum took the stage just after her 4-piece band. They were set up in front of a large red curtain which was clearly there to hide Troye’s staging. Thelma was so happy to be there as she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. The crowd was happy to see her too. Some of the crowd sang along with her and even shouted out compliments. It was really nice. I had never heard her music before but I really enjoyed her performance. Even though there was nothing that really “blew my mind”, that was also a good thing, in the way that it was a simple performance that allowed her vocals to shine through more. Thelma has somewhat of a sultry, bluestone to her voice but can really pick it up a bit when the track becomes more upbeat. It was awesome that Troye bought her over for her NZ debut.

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Now obviously with the wait in between acts comes a lot of anticipation and there was definitely a lot of it. The fans even tried to start a Mexican wave but I didn’t really see it work out. Finally, the lights went out and the front lights reached out across the arena. The bass shook the room. Then a section of the thick red curtain rises and Troye Sivan emerges to a loud roar from the crowd. 

Dressed in a suit, he grabs his mic stand and kicks into ‘17’. The red light lit half of him as he just worked that solo moment. But as the track comes to an end, he takes the mic and disappears behind the curtain. Then before you knew it, the curtain drops away, revealing a 4-piece band and some layered staging.  Troye shows how he plans on using the staging by dancing on the 2nd little stage and working his way back down to the front, as he performs ‘Bloom’. This is where Sivan’s energy really comes through as he gets really into it, pacing the stage and moving to the music. The lighting shot out from the front of the stage as well as backset of square lights. It really suited his performance and gave it somewhat of another element.

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After performing ‘Plum’ Troye finally says hi to the crowd. As most acts do, he tells the crowd how he visited Piha the day before and how that is what we should show all artists who visit because it is “so New Zealand”. As I mentioned above, the crowd came dressed up and Troye told the crowd he is judging all their outfits and acknowledged a few individuals in the crowd. But he obviously had to let the crowd know that he will top them all “wait until you see my fucking gag”. You could feel the energy in the room and Troye did too. It was a fun and positive feeling throughout.

Troye dove into a mashup of “Wild” & “I’m so tired…” these were a couple of songs I was excited to her because I have been a fan of Troye’s music for quite some time and hearing Wild was a nice nod to that whereas I’m so tired… is just such a fun dance track, Ft. LAUV, to lose yourself too.

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But before you knew it, Troye was gone offstage. If you analysed the dark stage you would see a new part of staging being set up. As the lights lit the stage again Troye was sat on a couch with 4 lamps lit behind him. He was joined on the couch by one of his female band members who performed the next track with him, ‘Postcard’. But a really beautiful moment came from the crowd when he was on the couch by himself performing ‘What a heavenly way to die’ and the crowd lit up their phone lights. It added another level of emotion to the song in some ways.

Obviously, that slow mood couldn’t last the whole night and after performing ‘Bite’, Auckland was treated to his new track with Charli XCX ‘2099’ and well as a snippet of the banger that is ‘1999’. 

Like most of the crowd, I could not help but dance and Troye wanted to keep that going “Dance with me Auckland!”. Diving into ‘Dance To This’ the crowd lit up with energy as they moved. There was even a small drum solo which was a nice acknowledgement to his band.

Okay, Auckland do you want the bad news or the good news? . . . The bad news is there’s only one more song”. The crowd was not impressed but Troye quickly interrupted “The good news is I’m lying! I’ve waited too long to play an arena in NZ to not have my big encore moment”. He then explained what is going to happen, how he will “run offstage” and “some of us should probably cry” etc. It was quite funny. But then he paused to give an authentic “Thank you” to the crowd for allowing him to kick off the BLOOM Tour here. As the crowd had been screaming all night, it’s “ICONIC!”.

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Troye dove into ‘Animal’ then it was time for the encore. The crowd actually acted like they weren’t aware of what was happening, they played the part well. But I don’t think they were prepared for what was next. Troye emerged in a beautiful sparkling pink pantsuit with a low plunge, big shoulders and flared legs. This was matched with a belt around his waist. In his hands, he held a bequest of flowers which he tossed out to the crowd as performed ‘Youth’ off his album ‘Blue Neighbourhood’. Troye OBVIOUSLY had to tell us about the beautiful outfit he was wearing but he mainly just wanted to tell the crowd that “if anyone asks when Troye lost the plot, it was the Auckland show”. Though it was a bit awkward when he let the crowd know his boobs were out, only for the crowd to chant “Tits out for Troye”. He quickly moved on from that by telling us that these boots he is wearing are actually higher than we think, I would say they were probably knee-highs.

Troye dove into ‘Animal’ then it was time for the encore. The crowd actually acted like they weren’t aware of what was happening, they played the part well. But I don’t think they were prepared for what was next. Troye emerged in a beautiful sparkling pink pantsuit with a low plunge, big shoulders and flared legs. This was matched with a belt around his waist. In his hands, he held a bequest of flowers which he tossed out to the crowd as performed ‘Youth’ off his album ‘Blue Neighbourhood’. Troye OBVIOUSLY had to tell us about the beautiful outfit he was wearing but he mainly just wanted to tell the crowd that “if anyone asks when Troye lost the plot, it was the Auckland show”. Though it was a bit awkward when he let the crowd know his boobs were out, only for the crowd to chant “Tits out for Troye”. He quickly moved on from that by telling us that these boots he is wearing are actually higher than we think, I would say they were probably knee-highs.

That time of the night finally came and Troye let the crowd know that it was really time for the actual last song. Thanking the crowd one more time “NZ are you ready to party?!” He ended the show with ‘My My My!’. 

I really loved that show. As I danced and sang along I felt somewhat free, not only because I’m a fan of his music but I just thought it was nice how simple it was. Though obviously there’s some amazing lightings, sets and outfit changes, he was really just giving us his music and being himself. And sometimes that’s all you need.

Reviewed by Shelley Te Haara
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