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Olivia Rodrigo was always an arena-selling artist. The opening night of Guts World Tour was proof of it.

On Friday night, at Palm Springs, California’ Acrisure Arena, Rodrigo cemented her position in pop culture as a generation-defining artist. As a rockstar. And as an energy-filled idol that is only just beginning her career.

Welcomed by a roaring audience of lavender-dressed kids, Gen Z’eers, gays, and cool moms, Rodrigo took the stage in a sparkly silver two-piece for “Bad Idea Right” following an intro that brought the Guts album cover art to life.

She started her set with some yearbook-esque imagery that referenced her past: the young Disney starlet that fit the mold of a teenager with immense potential as she performed her hits “Ballad of a Homeschool Girl” and “Vampire,” before saying goodbye to the old Liv with a piano rendition of the hit that made her who she is: “Drivers License.”

The first several songs were a tribute to Olivia past. After Rodrigo released her album Sour, which earned her a Best New Artist Grammy in 2022, she opted for a less-flashy, high school prom theme stage design for her tour, performing at intimate venues like NYC’s Radio City Music Hall and Los Angeles’ Greek Theater. She told Rolling Stone that she did so to not skip any steps on her ascent to success.

Olivia Rodrigo performs onstage for the kick off of GUTS World Tour at Acrisure Arena on February 23, 2024 in Palm Springs, California.

Getty Images for Acrisure Arena

On Friday, she celebrated the era that came before, and sang “Teenage Dream” as videos of her as a child flashed on screen. Please don’t call her a kid anymore.

Astrologic motifs decorated the next segment of the show as she channeled Cyndi Lauper and pop greats with a choreo and kick-filled performance of “Love Is Embarrassing,” before she made all the older sisters in the audience tear up with “Making the Bed.” She ended Part Two sitting atop a crescent moon, and flying over the filled venue for a rendition of “Logical” before addressing the crowd while hovering in the middle of the arena.

“I’m so happy to be in Palm Springs. I’ve never been here before. I lived in Temecula which is not too far,” she told the crowd, before asking, “Did anyone go to my Sour Tour? That’s so cool. Nice to see you guys again. Y’all look prettier than I remember.” (She did too.)

Olivia Rodrigo performs onstage for the kick off of GUTS World Tour at Acrisure Arena on February 23, 2024 in Palm Springs, California.

Getty Images for Acrisure Arena

The flying-over-the-crowd-on-a-crescent-moon moment served as a transition for the rest of the show — it was like a literal eclipse. Things got rockier, sexier. Hornier, really. Opening her life’s biggest tour yet on the eve of a Virgo full moon was more than intentional. That was obvious.

For “Jealousy, Jealousy,” she greeted her fans in the crowd, and later refused to censor herself as she rallied the crowd to sing “Deja Vu” with her at the “top of your fucking lungs.” After a two-guitar solo transition, Rodrigo came back onstage in a shiny red outfit and led the crowd in euphoric scream during “Brutal.” She performed the bonus track “Obsessed” as if it were a single, gyrating on the ground as a camera filmed her from below the see-through stage.

During “All-American Bitch,” she switched the “Perfect all-American hips” line to her original, raunchier lyric: “Perfect all-american tits,” as she ran her hands over her breasts. She closed the show completely carefree. You couldn’t take your eyes off of her.

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Olivia Rodrigo performs onstage for the kick off of GUTS World Tour at Acrisure Arena on February 23, 2024 in Palm Springs, California.

Getty Images for Acrisure Arena

Rodrigo walked offstage and the crowd soon started to chant “Get Him Back” to bring her back for her two last songs. She returned with “Good 4 U” wearing a tube top with the words “I’m just a girl” emblazoned on it in a Bratz font, paying tribute to Gwen Stefani — and channeling the No Doubt star’s impact on culture. After a sassy rendition of “Get Him Back” to end the night, Rodrigo went into the crowd to meet her fans and got her flowers: hugging her Livies as star-shaped confetti rained on the crowd.

The Guts World Tour marks a new beginning for Rodrigo. And she’s reminding us she’s not one to be fucked with. It’s only fitting that it was fitting that it was her 21st birthday this week.



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