At only 20 years old Troye Sivan has attained an international level of celebrity and fosters a strong connection with his fans. The Australian (by way of South Africa) is a child of the YouTube generation and got his start by broadcasting musical covers and creative content across the web. Now, Sivan's channel boasts nearly 4 million subscribers, and his career has evolved to further feed his musical passion.
In 2014 Troye's work in the recording studio coalesced into a collection of synth-heavy dream pop. A warm reception paved the way to the release of a debut LP, Blue Neighbourhood, in 2015. Debuting in the Top 10 on US charts, Troye's album was a well received hit lush with promise and true emotion.
Now, Troye has hit the road to bring the Blue Neighbourhood experience to his fans. It should come as no surprise that Sivan's Blue Neighbourhood Tour sold out, as his fans clamored for an opportunity to see the star in person. We were lucky enough to snatch tickets to witness the show in Chicago, and it was a night to remember.
After an exceptional performance by opening act LANY, the anticipation in the crowd was palpable. Finally the stage went dark, and the band entered to immense applause.
And so the show began...
In the midst of pulsing beats and slithering synths, Troye Sivan took the stage. Standing in front of a microphone, Sivan faced a sea of expectant faces while dancing to the dark beats before breaking into "Bite," one of the heavier moments on Blue Neighbourhood. Offering himself up as a lover's "sickening desire," Troye tries to find release in their embrace with one request: please don't bite. On the dark stage the young musician appeared as a phoenix in the flames, perfectly captivating and resonating with the power of his music.
The energy in the venue ratcheted to a fever pitch as Troye moved into one "for him." The pop-oriented diddy holds a certain intrigue after Sivan revealed that the song was written as a highly personal love note to a boyfriend. Although there is no confirmation regarding who the song is about, the performance provided a sweet moment as the youthful crooner danced across the stage under flashing red, blue, and purple lights. Fans fervidly sang along, displaying their love of the track by seamlessly continuing through an unreleased verse which took the place of a rapped feature.
After a thrilling introduction, Troye Sivan proceeded to perform a retrospective of the Blue Neighbourhood album. With few frills to the stage, the focus remained on Troye's seraphic vocals and simple aesthetic. The neon "blue neighbourhood" houses that served as a backdrop to the stage glowed as Troye sang of living rooms, swimming pools, Tangueray, and dreams of the future on "Fools," dimming as he realized that the love was not pure.
After coming out on his YouTube channel in 2013, Troye Sivan has become a powerful advocate for the LGBT community. He frequently uses his many platforms to promote love and acceptance. The stage on The Blue Neighbourhood Tour was no different. Troye spoke about the personal nature of his track "Heaven" and the affect that coming out had on him and his faith in one of the night's most inspirational moments. The stirring performance left many brushing a tear away as Troye (and many listeners) found redemption in living a true life without fear.
Troye's ever growing appeal brings him closer to his fans all the time; however, the fame takes him further from home as he travels the globe. With this in mind, tracks like "Suburbia" take on a new edge in a live format. Troye's voice resounded with yearning as he took a moment to reflect on how far he's come and what he has left behind. "Have you heard me on the radio, did you turn it up" Troye questions family and friends that aren't always by his side on the road. Fortunately, Troye's parents were able to experience the magic in person this night, as they were in the audience.
In comparison, the followup performance of "Cool" could serve as a soundtrack to the hours many fans spend on Tumblr, searching out the chicest of lives. With the skill of an expert content curator, Troye Sivan danced across the stage while dreaming of trips to the islands with his Hollywood lover. The crowd danced along, and the festivities continued through a rousing performance of "Wild."
One of the most thrilling performances of the evening occurred as Troye welcomed fans to sing along to a stripped back version of his first official single "Happy Little Pill." The audience's collective voice harmonized with Troye's, creating a special moment representative of the impressive fan base that the artist has developed.
Troye's keyboardist supplied vocals during the Broods-assisted "Ease," while Tkay Maidza's explosive verse was supplied by the sound booth during an impassioned performance of "DKLA." Troye left the stage after a stirring performance of his anthemic "Talk Me Down," during which fans swayed in perfect tandem to the beat.
Throughout the set, Troye Sivan effortlessly connected with his fans and practically glowed in their presence. The "Gasoline" crooner (a stunning track that didn't make the setlist) managed to come off as both insightful and relatable and provided many sweet moments throughout the set.
A double encore closed the show with the hugely danceable "Lost Boy" and current single "Youth." Watching Troye bop across the stage while offering his youth to a loved one and conjuring images of "trippin' on skies, sippin' waterfalls" away from the stresses of daily life, it was almost as though the track was dedicated to his fans in the audience.
In a very real way Troye Sivan has shared his youth with his fans. Whether he's smiling out from computer screens on his YouTube channel, putting the hours in with a late night recording, or taking the stage to directly interact with fans, Troye Sivan is documenting and broadcasting some of the most formative years with those around him. He has created an environment where it is encouraged to be yourself, a utopian escape of sorts. That escape resounds with youthful energy, and it's a place everyone should go from time to time.
Thanks to Troye Sivan, that's entirely possible.
The North American leg of the Blue Neighbourhood Tour is set to run through March 17, coming to a close after a string of performances throughout Texas. A European leg is set to commence on April 15 in Dublin and will run through a May 20 show in Stockholm. Tickets are available HERE.