Becoming a sensational pop star in 2021 in light of the chaos 2020 had to offer requires some “out of the box” thinking. After streaming Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour Prom on June 29th, it became clear to audiences everywhere that the young artist is in no shortage of creative ideas. The free live stream catered not only to the remote necessity of current concerts but also to those who never had the chance to experience a prom, including Rodrigo herself.
Opening with a suburban scene in which Rodrigo debuts in a royal blue gown, the live stream drew parallels to the artist’s previous music videos. But once she picked up the mic, it became evident that the clear, precise camera angles would be accompanied by true, uncut vocals. The first song performed? A never-heard-before mashup of “deja vu” and “happier.” As the part acoustic, part electronic pop song played, Rodrigo rode a limousine to her prom where she performed a majority of the set.
There, “brutal” began to play. Accompanied by kitschy balloon decor and a handful of well-dressed background dancers, she gave a name to teenage angst and the subliminal beauty of its expression. While lights flashed in rhythm with the heavy drum groove, Rodrigo posed by the notorious punch bowl, acting out the wallflower temperament her lyrics proclaim.
A complete change of pace was welcomed at the start of the next song, “traitor.” As background dancers swayed slowly to a tragic story of post-breakup relations, Rodrigo sang soulfully. With each sad glance, the artist made towards the camera, viewers were confronted with the emotion intently channeled in the song. Following the ballad, the artist introduced “jealousy, jealousy.” The pop-punk mashup was highlighted by a live band that carried as much emotion in each strum as Rodrigo did in each note. Additionally, the 360-degree camera angles highlighted the stunning, modern-day prom set design more and more with each passing cut. By the time the next song, “enough for you,” began, the set had changed. Lit by red light, she performed the acoustic song in a photo lab. Clipped on a string in the room were polaroids of what appeared to be the artist’s friends and family, making the perfect backdrop to a song that discusses the struggles of self-worth amidst a relationship.
Reaching minute 18 of the nearly 30 minute live stream, she then performed her debuting hit, “drivers license.” While thousands of viewers flooded the comment section with the song’s famous lines, Rodrigo sang next to a grand piano centered on a high school football field. Ending the song with a piano solo of her own, the artist left no question as to why the song had become such a sensation so quickly.
For her last song of the night, she rocked to “good 4 u.” Sending off her prom with a proper tribute to high school, Rodrigo sang alongside the school marching band in a Friday Night Lights set. As she reached the energetic end of her set list, viewers begged for an encore.
With more than 5 million views in less than 24 hours, the success of Sour Prom is unquestionable. The efforts of Rodrigo and her team are beyond evident in each scene of the live stream, which is now available for viewing on her YouTube channel. For anyone with 27 minutes to spare, Sour Prom is well worth the time and the emotion of reliving a moment frozen in high school history.
happier/ deja vu (Mashup)
enough for you
good 4 u