Troye Sivan is magical. He’s a clear sky in rural New Zealand in the middle of summer. The kind where you look up and all you see is stars and you gasp a bit as you take in the beauty of it all.
After openers Tigertown set the mood for the evening, there was no way that this sold out show at Auckland’s Town Hall was going to be anything other than one giant dance party. The energy from beginning to end – from both those on stage and the crowd – was something I hadn’t experienced for as long as I can remember and as Troye’s brother, Tyde, took to the stage to DJ, my jaw ached from smiling. I lost count of how many times I said, ‘This is so much fun’. Not one person in the beautiful venue was standing still as Tyde continued to amp up the crowd, showcased by the fact that the floor in the general admission area genuinely felt as though it would cave in at any moment.
Troye had headlined his first ever arena show earlier in the week but it didn’t stop him from marvelling at the crowd and stating, “This is absolutely mad”. He might have soared to fame in record time but it certainly hasn’t had any negative effects on Troye’s humility. Everything about him is genuine and kind, and through all of the dancing and bouncing around the stage, he paused to ensure that we were doing alright.
“Are you okay? Is everybody okay? Are you doing okay?”
After opening with three tracks to get everyone dancing, Troye got real for a second, introducing the next song on the setlist – Heaven – with a speech about his “coming out experience”. The song is about the moment he found peace with his sexuality and is definitely my favourite on Blue Neighbourhood. If you say you didn’t get a little misty eyed, I’m sorry but you’re a liar. There is something about incredibly personal songs that creates an even greater sense of community than you might usually find at a live show and I think it was at this point where the Town Hall suddenly became an undeniably safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
After Suburbia, an ode to Troye’s home in Perth, and a few more dance party bangers, including crowd fave, Wild, Troye slowed it down with an acoustic set. Prior to covering Amy Winehouse’s Love is a Losing Game, we were asked if anyone was on a date, to which a few arms waved including a couple in the seats on the balcony.
“I guess you guys can canoodle.”
Cue two cute chicks making out in front of a sold out show with absolutely no inhibitions whatsoever. At this point, the Town Hall was reinforced as this safe place in a world where, at times, nowhere feels safe. It was freaking adorable and I cried because I have no chill and love is beautiful.
Following the enchanting cover, Troye explained one of the reasons why New Zealand has become one of his favourite places in the world.
“When literally no one else in the world gave a shit about me, you got this to number 2.”
Then came a beautiful acoustic rendition of his first ever single – Happy Little Pill. This was arguably my favourite performance of the night. Partly because it was important for Troye to play it in New Zealand and partly because it was the first time during the evening that the crowd’s singing drowned out what was happening on stage. I looked around and saw the sea of lights that had emerged. It was breathtaking and no photo or video could have captured the magic that everyone in the room had managed to create.
I don’t know if Blue Neighbourhood was written with a concert in mind but there are very few records that I have seen live that translate quite so well into a performance. The mid-song breakdowns combined with the lighting design as well as Troye’s carefree dance moves all contributed to an entirely ethereal experience. The audience interactions made the whole experience all the more personal, particularly when Troye got a hold of an audience member’s iPhone. He explained that he took a Troye x crowd selfie with one of those light up selfie cases at the show at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch and, when he spotted one in our crowd, he immediately asked for it to be passed forward since he had – “no offence – never looked that good”. This is a sentiment that I seriously doubted as he stood there, literally shimmering, with glitter on his face from a photoshoot earlier in the day. He considered removing it before the show but realised that it would have been a huge mistake because he looked bloody fabulous.
“What a gag would that be if I just left it on for the show? How glam!”
It occurred to me at this point that “glam” is the perfect word to describe everything that happened that evening and it only became more poignant after the not-so-secret encore (“I’ll be back in like, thirty seconds”) that consisted of Lost Boy and Youth. Not one person remained stationary and if there had been glitter cannons, I don’t think I would have been surprised. Right then, though, Troye was all the sparkle we needed. After saying, “Thank you so much,” at least 36 times through his everlasting smile, Troye finally managed to sum up how we all felt:
“I have no idea why I’m having so much fun. Well, I know. It’s ’cause of you. But I am just having the best time.”
Love Is a Losing Game
Happy Little Pill
Talk Me Down