There were no sour feelings in Cork city on Wednesday night as Gen-Z pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo closed the 2022 season of Live at the Marquee.
Rodrigo’s Sour tour was one of the most anticipated nights of the LATM line-up: it sold out instantly when tickets went on sale last year.
It’s no surprise given her stratospheric rise over the past 18 months: the Grammy Award-winning 19 year old Californian’s music went from TikTok trend to the Glastonbury stage in what seemed like the blink of an eye, making headlines at the UK festival for dedicating a duet with Lily Allen of ‘Fuck You’ to the US Supreme Court members who voted on Friday to overturn the Roe v Wade ruling.
Her appearance in the Marina had echos of Lady Gaga’s gig there in 2009 — also at the cusp of the ‘Born This Way’ singer’s rise to fame — and there was a feeling along the Marina that we were lucky to book Rodrigo before she too became a “truly global superstar”, in the words of promotor Peter Aiken. Aiken expects Rodrigo could reappear Leeside but in another venue. “I believe the next time we see her here will be in Páirc Uí Chaoimh,” he said ahead of her gig.
We can dream of her potential stadium appearance and after Rodrigo’s night in the Marquee, it would certainly be something to behold. Following energetic support act Baby Queen, Rodrigo appeared onstage after a chorus of One Direction’s ‘Olivia’ and started her set with ‘Brutal’ which was just about audible over the screams of the mostly-teenage fans in the crowd — I did say she was a Gen-Z superstar — before launching into ‘Jealousy, Jealousy’.
She paused for breath to chat to her adoring audience for a moment before delighting at the piano with the song that made her a household name, ‘Drivers License’. “Hi Cork, how ya doing? You guys are so pretty! Welcome to the Sour tour, this is going to be the best night,” she said.
It was a night filled with teenage angst, passion, and heartbreak and the venue was brimming with emotion thanks to an intimacy that was evident between the singer and her appreciative audience.
“Jeez, Cork, you might be the best crowd I’ve ever seen in my life," she remarked. "This is my first time in Ireland, thanks for having me. I’m really enjoying it.”
She described her Marquee gig as "one of the most fun shows I’ve played in my life. I feel so beyond lucky."
Rodrigo has an in-depth knowledge of pop music and its trends over the decades, famously drawing on other artists from the '90s for inspiration and on Wednesday she paid tribute to "the pop princess herself” Avril Lavigne with a cover of 'Complicated’.
She closed both the show and Live at the Marquee 2022 with a thunderous performance of 'Good 4 U', accompanied by the passionate audience in what can only be described as a cathartic singalong in an intensely energised venue.
Exiting the stage, Rodrigo was in awe of her Cork audience.
"Thank you Cork, you guys are fucking incredible. Till we meet again!"
It was a powerful night and an absolutely perfect way to exit the Marquee for the year. Hopefully we’ll welcome you to Páirc Uí Chaoimh soon, Olivia.