Troye Sivan @ OVO Hydro, Glasgow, 23 Jun

The Aussie pop star delivers a masterclass in pure, unflinching queer joy

Live Review by Alisa Wylie | 25 Jun 2024
  • Troye Sivan, OVO Hydro, Glasgow. 23 Jun 2024

When there’s a curtain on stage at a show, you know something special is about to be unveiled. As Troye Sivan takes to the stage after the curtain drops behind his six dancers and he launches into his hit Got Me Started, the atmosphere is something close to electric. The high-intensity beat of the song and the general energy of the performers (and the up-for-it audience) get the show off to a stupendous start. 

As this tour is in support of his latest album Something to Give Each Other, it's appropriate that the underlying theme throughout the night is 'connection'. Speaking to the crowd at the end of the first of several acts, the Grammy-award-nominee promises "a real pop show with choreography and costume changes". Behind him, we see two large metal scaffolding structures, similar to something you might see on a Broadway stage. His drummer and instrumentalists take their place either side of the sage, leaving the middle to be occupied by Sivan and his crew of dancers. 

Sivan is a great showman and he's put together a deeply sexy pop show, but there's plenty of catharsis being released by the Australian singer along with the sweat and sex appeal. He explains he wrote the album after a messy breakup. From this pain, he's channelled joy into his music.

Act two delights with anime-esque visuals featuring a cameo from pop-mega star Ariana Grande. As well as Sivan and Grande's 2018 collab Dance to This we also get supernatural from Grande’s latest album. Act three, meanwhile, is described by Sivan as “emo and depressive”. The set changes again, and he performs sans dancers while standing on a circular riser bathed in moody blue light. These lights surrounding him on the small stage-within-stage look like microphones crowding him out, like he’s at a press conference. During Still Got It, he asks the Hydro crowd to get their phone lights up. As he laments through the solemn, heartbreaking song, the whole venue is illuminated. The phone lights seem so bright they outshine the ones that surround him on stage. It's a emotional moment, I think — not only for him, but for everyone present.

Image: Kate Johnston

One Of Your Girls, a lo-fi, brooding track about introspection and seeking validation, is given its own moment. On either side of the performance, there are short video clips of a beautiful-looking Sivan in a long, blonde wig and makeup reminiscent of his look in the song’s music video. 

The electro-pop sound and tight choreography make for a fantastic live performance. Towards the end of the set, Sivan performs 1999, a song by Charli XCX that he features on. Teasing the audience, he says he may come back after this song but only if people go “feral.” Well feral we go. He keeps his promise, returning with dancers in tow for blistering performances of Honey and the anthemic banger Rush. 

Something to Give Each Other is the message that's threaded throughout and the album title appears on-screen at the end of the set. In Pride month, this message feels particularly poignant; we're all together, and have been able to experience a masterclass in pure, unflinching queer joy.