Olivia Rodrigo – Nationwide Arena

Before Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, was set alight by Olivia Rodrigo’s sensational performance, the stage was graced by the soulful presence of Kayleigh Rose Amstutz, a 25-year-old singer from Missouri, better known as Chappell Roan. Chappell is an outspoken, drag persona on stage to counter the shy Kayleigh off stage.

Roan is  a rising star with a voice that effortlessly traverses the realms of pop and indie folk. Roan took to the stage with an aura of understated confidence, leaving a lasting impression on the audience. Her melodies and introspective lyrics set the perfect tone for the evening, drawing listeners into her world with tracks like “Red Wine Supernova” and “Pink Pony Club.” These songs showcased Roan’s unique blend of indie pop and folk influences, drawing the audience in with their hooks and evocative storytelling.

With just 9 songs, she bolstered her fanbase and left an impact on audience members who may have only come to see the headliner for the same heartbreaking and cathartic music. Roan left an indelible mark on the audience, setting the tone for the evening.

Performing 24 all-original songs in just shy of 2 hours, complete with 2 acoustic versions, a costume change, and a ride on a crescent moon over the stage, Olivia Rodrigo gave fans more than they could have expected. From the moment she belted out the opening notes of “Bad Idea Right?,” Rodrigo had the crowd hanging on her every word. With a voice that transitions from powerful belting to delicate whispers, it was evident that she poured her heart and soul into every lyric, every melody, every movement.

She spilled her Guts, helping young women relate to the trials of growing up, and creating melodic pop sounds for the rest to enjoy too. Yes there were teens attending their first live performance, but there were also 30- and 40-year-olds enjoying the rawness to her performance that was both captivating and deeply authentic.

In between songs, Rodrigo took some moments to connect with her fans, expressing her gratitude for their support and sharing personal anecdotes that added an intimate touch to the evening. It was clear that she wasn’t just there to put on a show; she was there to create a shared experience, to make every person in the audience feel seen and understood. What truly set Rodrigo’s performance apart was its intimacy. despite performing in front of thousands of fans.

One of the most striking aspects of Rodrigo’s performance was her ability to effortlessly transition between vulnerability and strength. With each song, she bared her soul to the audience, inviting them into her world of heartbreak, longing, and self-discovery.  Rodrigo was backed by a talented band that complemented her vocals that she interacted with throughout the night, creating a rich sonic tapestry that filled the venue with warmth and emotion.

At just 21 years old, Rodrigo has already established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry, and her performance in Columbus only solidified her status as a rising superstar. Olivia Rodrigo’s live performances are not just concerts; they’re powerful showcases of her raw talent, emotional depth, and unwavering authenticity. It was a good reminder of the power of music to connect us, to move us, and to inspire us.

Harry Acosta is a professional photographer who started out shooting concerts. He is an avid concertgoer and loves to capture his favorite musicians and unseen moments we take for granted in everyday life.

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