Troye Sivan

When Troye Sivan began his colorful, high-energy performance of his track “Dance to This” at The Anthem on Thursday, Oct. 4, his audience followed the song title’s command by letting go on the dance floor. On tour promoting his sophomore album “Bloom” released in August, Sivan created the perfect atmosphere for disregarding inhibition and encouraged the audience to keep dancing throughout the night.

Pop singer-songwriter Leland, who co-wrote multiple songs on Sivan’s 2016 and 2018 albums, opened the concert. In front of only a red curtain and a banner with his name on it, Leland did an excellent job of energizing the crowd. His set included multiple unreleased songs in addition to “Lights,” which is featured on the soundtrack to the Netflix movie “Sierra Burgess is a Loser.” Donning a sequin rainbow shirt and jean shorts, Leland unleashed dramatic movements that fit the up-tempo nature of his music.

German pop singer Kim Petras followed Leland. Petras faced controversy earlier this year when she publicly voiced support for Dr. Luke, the producer whom Kesha accused of various forms of abuse. Sivan received backlash for choosing Petras to open for him, and he put out a statement on Twitter in June that read, “I had a decision to make and, at the end of the day, I decided that I believe in Kim as an artist, a talent, and as an example to so many that their dreams are valid and possible.” After the backlash that Sivan received for choosing Petras to support him on the tour, Petras released a public apology on Twitter saying that she now understands the effect that her words had.

Musically, Petras echoes the sounds of Charli XCX, and she has a powerful voice with an impressive range. Although it was hard to deny the strength of her high notes, it was difficult to distinguish her vocal range from the auto-tune on her mic and possible backing tracks.

None of her songs felt particularly revolutionary for the pop scene, with standard bouncy beats and themes of spending time in the Hamptons, shopping, boys and doing drugs. However, “Close Your Eyes,” a song from her Halloween mixtape “TURN OFF THE LIGHT, VOL. 1,” was a thematic detour with a lyric about eating someone’s heart. While the crowd seemed more engaged by Leland’s performance, Petras still finished strong with the anthemic “Can’t Do Better.”

Shortly after 9 p.m., Sivan finally took the stage in front of the curtain among dark smoky lights to screams from the crowd. Dressed in an oversized suit, he began with the sultry “Seventeen,” the first track on the new album. The curtain fell dramatically to the rise of the song to reveal the rest of the set, which included a two-tiered stage for Sivan as well as platforms for his band members. The energy carried through the performances as he hyped up the crowd and danced freely around stage during “Bloom” and “Plum.”  “This is one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Sivan remarked about the venue.

Sivan moved into “HEAVEN” from his 2016 album “Blue Neighbourhood,” explaining that the song was about his struggle with his sexuality when he was younger. “No matter who you are … this space is made for you,” Sivan told the crowd before launching into the ballad. At the end of the song, the lights behind Sivan made a rainbow, a touching symbol of pride.

The next song “FOOLS,” also from “Blue Neighbourhood,” started slow and sensual with everyone singing along, but then the sparkly lights came in, and Sivan danced around while maintaining the strength of his voice. This led into “Lucky Strike,” another upbeat, slinky track from “Bloom” that was accompanied by the horizontal lights rotating.

There was no shortage of interaction with the crowd throughout the evening about the show, nor did Sivan deprive his fans of LGBTQ-affirming content, stating, “I can see the gays are out tonight,” and, “This is the gay agenda.”

Sivan made himself accessible through such informal and funny interludes to the crowd and warmed the environment. Later in the concert, someone threw an Andy Warhol t-shirt on stage. He asked the crowd if there were any more items, and got a few more things, including someone’s phone. “Should we read their text messages?” he asked, but instead decided to take a selfie with the crowd on it.

One of the strongest vocal moments of the show came from one of Sivan’s pianists, Kaela Sinclair, who sings the female features for multiple of his songs during the night. After Sivan changed into leather pants and a white sleeveless shirt, he and Sinclair sat on a vintage-looking couch and emoted the pain expressed in the piano ballad “Postcard.” Sinclair was an integral part of this standout of the night, as their harmonies and acting brought the song to life.

The somber and introspective mood continued with “The Good Side,” which began with only an acoustic guitar and building to the full band with Sivan dramatically swaying on the couch. He then laid down on the sofa while the lights glimmered and began the ethereal “What a Heavenly Way to Die” bathed in red light.

For his pre-encore finale, Sivan performed the slow-burning “Animal,” which, following the pattern of the evening, started simple and rose to rock anthem-level production. As he left the stage, the audience chanted “one more song,” and they got two.

First up when he returned was “YOUTH,” a big hit from “Blue Neighbourhood.” The crowd went wild at the beat drop and screamed the refrain “my youth is yours.” “This just completely turned my day around,” Sivan remarked between songs. “Hands down one of my favorite shows … this tour.”

“My My My!” was the swan song of the night, but Sivan would not let his show end without a bang. The final part of the song went double-time on the beat amidst dramatic black and white lights that echoed the music video, and the crowd jumped faster than it had all night. With the swell of energy, Sivan led his fans to the end of a vibrant and uplifting show.

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