Live Shot: Olivia Rodrigo, Holly Humberstone bring music, vibrant energy to Moody

Fiza Kuzhiyil, Associate Managing Editor

Fans in lavender crop tops and prom dresses start lining up for the show before the sun rises. With an hour left until the doors open, the line wraps around the venue. Chart-topping artist Olivia Rodrigo brought the Sour Tour to a sold-out crowd at Austin’s Moody Amphitheater on May 13.

The opener Holly Humberstone takes the stage accompanied with nothing but her guitar. While her set is robust with moving songs like “London Is Lonely“ and “Scarlett,” highlights from the set include “Overkill” and “Falling Asleep at the Wheel.”

It’s not easy to catch the interest of a crowd as large as Moody. While the crowd talked over the artist for the first few songs, by the end of the set, the crowd waves their phone flashlights in the air in sync with Humberstone’s slow ballad, showing just how captivating her thoughtful songwriting is.

The headlining set starts with a few hiccups, as the crew struggles to hold the purple curtains back from the wind. Still, the crowd bursts into chants of “Olivia, Olivia, Olivia” until the speakers shift from filler music to “Olivia” by One Direction. The beat of the song then devolves into the opening beat of “brutal,” and the curtains part to reveal Rodrigo in a Y2K-style plaid set.

Rodrigo transitions seamlessly from “brutal” to “jealousy, jealousy” as she runs across the stage and jumps with the crowd. By the end of the song however, the energy of her performance catches up to her, and her labored breathing is evident when she delivers a welcome address to the crowd.

Rodrigo slows down the pace of the show as she takes to the piano to play the chart-topping song “drivers license.” While she struggles with breath control as she recovers from the last song, there’s an obvious improvement in her live vocals since the first time she played the song live at the BRIT Awards a year ago. Even when she does falter just a few times, the audience picks up the lyrics, with a crowd so loud it almost drowns out the speakers.

Rodrigo guides the audience through every song on her album, telling the story of various stages of a relationship. Since she can’t fill a show with her 34-minute album, Rodrigo plays hits such as “All I Want” from High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The early career hit transported the audience back to 2019 TikTok to remind them how far Rodrigo has come in her career.

Rodrigo sings other covers too, but, instead of feeling like fillers, they sounded like enhancements to the early 2000s vibe she brings to every performance. Her covers of “Just a Girl” by No Doubt and “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne pay tribute to the pop queens of the early 2000s, but the quieter crowd makes you wonder if Rodrigo’s younger fan base knows these older songs.

Still, Rodrigo carries the crowd into the world of Sour, a world that blends the sounds and feelings of the early 2000s with the styles of the 2020s to create a sound so uniquely Olivia Rodrigo.