Olivia Rodrigo at Verti Music Hall: Pleasant gurgling

Olivia Rodrigo at Verti Music Hall

The cell phone lights come on for the “Driver’s License”.


Tue 6/14/22 | 08:33 | FROM Hans Ackerman

dpa / Paul R. Giunta

Audio: rbb24 Inforadio | 06/14/2022 | Hans Ackerman | Picture: dpa / Paul R. Giunta

With her debut album “Sour” last year, Californian singer Olivia Rodrigo became a pop superstar. No wonder the halls are getting too small for their European tour, he says Hans Ackerman.

For a good year, Olivia Rodrigo has been one of the most successful musicians of his generation. The 19-year-old, born in 2003 in Temecula, California, has over 40 million followers on Spotify. Their debut album “Sour” broke all records last year and stayed at number one in the US and UK for many weeks.

Sold out tour

Apparently, the shows from their European tour were sold out within minutes. But if you were lucky, you will now stand in a pleasantly bubbling hall and experience the concert where Olivia Rodrigo is celebrated by the audience from the very first minute.

He sings “It’s brutal here” in the chorus of the first song and after the first song it’s clear: 4000 young, mostly female fans know every line of each song and just sings throughout the concert – why not.

Fans will of course recognize their idol’s big hit by the first chord – which Olivia Rodrigo hits the piano after a good ten minutes. Later he also picks up the guitar very skillfully, but now waits on the keyboards for a cheer that starts with “Drivers License”. The whole room connects, hundreds of cell phone lights come on.

The feat of a broken heart

With up to 20 million streams per day, the Drivers License in particular sparked worldwide enthusiasm for the singer. Her heartbreak masterpiece has been broadcast one and a half billion times only on Spotify. All the songs on their debut album have been successful, four singles have been released so far and all went platinum – which also involves New York songwriter and producer Dan Nigro.

Together with Olivia Rodrigo, she creates authentic songs such as “Drivers License”, a song about a young woman who just got her driver’s license but had to let her boyfriend do it. Now she’s going with someone else. And it hurts – which is painfully and beautifully expressed in the desperate chorus of the song in the highest tones.

From actress to singer

Olivia Rodrigo wrote her first song a few years ago for the lead role on the Disney series High School Musical. There she played the singer as a teenager – who has now become a real musician on stage.

Olivia Rodrigo probably mixes pop and indie, folk and country – and where it all comes from, you can see when she sings Alanis Morissette covers during her performances or, for the night, “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne.

With her own songs, Olivia Rodrigo can easily join the ranks of self-confident singers from Morissette to Lorde – who will also be appearing at the Verti Music Hall in a few days. And when it comes to streaming services, popularity has just overtaken Billie Eilish, and Taylor Swift doesn’t have much of an edge anymore either.

Next time around, Olivia Rodrigo will likely have to rent a much larger hall in the neighborhood, the Mercedes-Benz Arena, which would then house a good 24,000 fans – six times more than the completely sold out Verti Music Hall. In any case, Olivia Rodrigo celebrated a very successful debut in Berlin yesterday.

Broadcast: Inforadio, June 14, 2022, 6:55

Contribution by Hans Ackermann


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