The night was oh-so-marvelously queer.
The queer community of New York brought its A-game to Radio City Music Hall last Tuesday night for Troye Sivan’s BLOOM Tour. The crowd was surprisingly older than expected as flocks of gay men and twentysomethings flooded the hall, leaving glitter in their tracks.
Songwriter and singer Leland kicked off the night but was soon succeeded by Kim Petras who performed a smashing set of eclectic pop hits. Initially known for being the youngest person to receive gender transition surgery at 16, the German singer worked the crowd flawlessly. As she belted addictive pop melodies like “Don’t Get Better” and “Heart 2 Break” with a powerhouse voice, her fanbase made its presence known.
“I love Kim Petras, so the combo of her opening and Troye Sivan made it worth it to check their concert out,” said Steinhardt graduate student Carol Dinh. “She also sounded great live and better than her recordings.”
Soon after, Troye Sivan blessed the audience with his presence and opened with “Seventeen,” followed by the titular tour song and gay sex anthem “Bloom” and “Plum,” respectively. The first huge surprise of the night was when Sivan slyly brought a fan, Juda, on stage who proceeded to surprise Sivan with a marriage proposal. The entire concert hall shook when he said yes. It was one of the many heartfelt moments of sweet queer celebration peppering the night that many of the LGBTQ+ community don’t always see on a daily basis.
The proposal was perfectly followed up by “Heaven” off Sivan’s 2015 album “Blue Neighborhood,” which paints Sivan’s journey realizing his sexuality. To the crowd, Sivan elaborated on how the song has evolved over the years.
“I wrote about my coming out experience,” he said onstage. “Over the years of playing it live, it has completely shifted and has become about this and these moments of community like this of people coming together and loving each other for exactly who they are, so thank you.”
The stage’s strobe lights blasted a spectacular rainbow onto the crowd as fans relished in all of its glory during the last chorus of the queer anthem.
Sivan brought back old favorites like “Bite” and “Wild” from the archives, mixing them with intimate songs off “Bloom,” such as “Postcard” and “The Good Side.” Juxtaposing the songs, Sivan has blossomed and in the process, has become a queer icon. While 2015’s “Blue Neighborhood” was filled with teenage angst and youthful pop melodies, “Bloom” exerts a maturity in musical style and narrative as Sivan has come to embrace himself and the complexity and joys of love. His musical journey is closely tied with our own coming-out and into journey of ourselves, and we were all there for it.
Prior to the concert, Sivan tweeted of a special surprise that would greet the audience. Fans believed that Ariana Grande would grace the stage, considering her and Sivan’s recent song together, “Dance to This.” However, given the slightly older demographic of the crowd, it was a perfect moment to amaze the hall by bringing Charli XCX out onstage. Sivan and Charli performed their new song “1999,” which hyped up the crowd with killer punchlines and an irresistible bounce.
Despite Charli’s unexpected appearance at Radio City, the most unexpected gift of the night was the live debut of Sivan’s unreleased song “Revelation,” which he wrote for the upcoming film “Boy, Erased” in which he plays Gary, a pupil in a gay conversion therapy program.
“I am so proud of ‘Boy, Erased.’ I [am] just so honored to be a part of it,” Troye said to the audience. “There was this one scene of relief and tenderness where the main character, Jared, does something pure, beautiful and romantic. And the sky doesn’t f-cking come down on him, and it’s a revelation to him. And that person that he was with is a revolution to him, so I started with that idea.”
The soft line, “You’re a revelation. Won’t you liberate me now?” lingered through the hall. The song reflected the gentle earnestness that Troye naturally projects on stage and the theme of queer optimism that underpinned the concert.
And as the night ended with the sexually liberating hit “My! My! My!,” it was viscerally clear that Radio Music City Hall became a beautiful space of inclusion and self-expression — thanks to the performances by Petras and Sivan.
“I love how Troye fosters a positive environment where he brings in LGBT charities like the Ally Coalition,” recent Fashion Institute of Technology graduate and concert volunteer Danni Siminerio said. “That is a really big reason why I’ve stuck with him and his fans have because it’s so apparent that understands and cares so much about this community.”
Email Joel Lee at [email protected]