September 26, 2022
Review: With pain in the air, Olivia Rodrigo offers catharsis and empathy at homecoming show

At age 19, Olivia Rodrigo has already scored two No. 1 singles. She’s hung out with the president at the White House. She’s won three Grammy Awards, including the coveted best new artist prize.

That changed with the first of two sold-out hometown shows at the Greek Theatre, part of a world tour — Rodrigo’s high-profile bow as a live performer — behind her smash 2021 debut, “Sour.” And if that meant the night carried some emotional weight for a singer who’s quickly grown accustomed to success, she didn’t try to hide it from her audience.

“When I was a little kid, like in elementary school, my parents would drive for hours to take me to acting classes up in L.A.,” Rodrigo told the capacity crowd, her eyes welling up, as she introduced “Drivers License,” the gloriously dramatic piano ballad that made her an instant star two Januarys ago. “We would go hike at Griffith Park after every class, and I always pointed to the Greek Theatre and told my mom and my dad, ‘One day, I’m gonna play there.’”

The big feelings continued as Rodrigo made a passionate appeal for stricter gun-control laws in the wake of Tuesday’s school shooting in Texas and as she brought one of her heroes, Alanis Morissette, to the stage for a surprise rendition of Morissette’s landmark “You Oughta Know.”

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