Concert Review: Troye Sivan Blue Neighbourhood Tour at Auckland Town Hall

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Teenage girls in Auckland madly in love with Troye Sivan
After a tour in Europe and the US, Australian pop star Troye Sivan finally travelled down south for a series of shows in both New Zealand and his home country. While our reporter Stefan Zhu wrote about the show Troye did in Amsterdam, I finally got to see the tour as well in the Auckland Town Hall, together with a huge amount of screaming teenage girls. They brought out glitters, flowers and rainbow flags to let their favourite pop star feel at home and they succeeded.

After a swinging supporting gig by Australian band Tigertown, who get the crowd going with their single ‘Lonely Cities’, and a short DJ set by Sivan’s brother Tyde Levi, Troye comes up. He didn’t take any decoration with him for the stage, but did put red glittering make up under his eyes. He starts out with the dark electronic track ‘Bite’ and his fans are immediately in awe of his voice and his movements. Sivan is dressed in skinny jeans, a white shirt and white sneakers, sporting a boy next door vibe. This does not only become apparent in his looks, but also in the way he talks in between the songs. He tells his fans about the way he felt when coming out and how that inspired him to write the personal and powerful tune ‘Heaven’ and the next moment he is face timing with his granny on stage, who hasn’t seen any of his shows yet.

Troye Sivan has grown from YouTube personality into international pop sensation in not much longer than a year. He launched a moving video trilogy last year, followed by his debut album Blue Neighbourhood and from there on, things started to pick up quickly. It looks as if Troye himself hasn’t fully realized yet all that has happened in his career. When he chats, it sounds like he is talking to his friends and when he struts and dances around the stage, you can easily imagine him doing the same in a bar on a saturday night.

This sense of realness is an important part of his appeal, which also shows in his lyrics. Sivan writes about personal things which are easily relatable to the youth of today, packed in swinging electronic pop tunes. He sings about falling in love with the wrong person on ‘Fools’, looks back on growing up in Perth on ‘Suburbia’ and not being ready to commit to a relationship on the swinging ‘Lost Boy’. Both his male and female fans know the lyrics by heart and sing like their life depends on it. The continuous help of this choir backs up Troye’s vocals throughout the night, but when he decides to slow things down a bit with a cover of Amy Winehouse’s fragile ‘Love Is A Losing Game’ and an acoustic version of his first big New Zealand hit ‘Happy Little Pill’, we get to hear how strong and emotive his voice actually is, with a unique deep tone.

The absolute highlights of the show are a moving performance of his single ‘Talk Me Down’, where all the fans have their flash lights in the air, a surprisingly strong rendition of the edgy ‘Too Good’ where his band consisting of a drummer and keyboardist excels, the swinging single ‘Wild’ where everyone sings along and of course the closer of the night, his biggest hit so far, ‘Youth’. Troye Sivan declares his love for New Zealand, saying he might buy a holiday home there sometime, of course to the delight of his ever excited fans. He promises them he will be back for more shows. Judging by the dedication of his Kiwi fans, he will be playing for packed venues for the coming years!

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Photos by Daniel de Vos

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