Troye Sivan. If that name does not sound familiar, it will in a matter of months. Trust me.
The 20-year-old singer-songwriter, actor and YouTuber played to a sold out crowd at The Rave Saturday night. His name really blew up online when he came out publicly as gay via a YouTube video in August 2013. With almost 4 million subscribers, his success and name are blowing up in the music industry, as he released his first studio album Blue Neighbourhood in December 2015 and is now touring the United States and Europe for the album.
Saturday’s stop in Milwaukee included opening band LANY (prounounced “lay-nee”), a three-piece pop-meets-R&B mix band, who is also new to the music industry. Lead singer Jake Goss’ stage presence was very reminiscent of The 1975’s Matty Healy, flouncing around the stage with a large bottle of wine. In an attempt to get the crowd excited during the set, he mentioned the band playing its first show almost a year ago, and Sivan was in attendance. The room erupted in screams from the teen girl majority. Most of the crowd sang along to their 30-minute set, presumably having first heard of the band from Sivan’s YouTube and curated Spotify playlist.
Halfway through Sivan’s 70-minute set, he said he felt like he was at a party. It was a party, indeed. Sivan had a nice carefree confidence about him. The way he bopped and wiggled his hips around the front of the stage made me feel confident about my wacky dance moves in the back of the crowd. From opening song “Bite” to playing his encore, “Youth,” I danced my butt off. The mom and dad behind me were probably judging me hardcore, but I had no cares in the world.
Sivan’s authenticity and kindness even prompted him to halt “Ease” after he noticed a fan had passed out in the front. After a couple minutes, making sure they were okay, he continued as if nothing happened. He even mentioned almost right away that he was not feeling well, but it never showed once.
Those carefree moves complemented his electropop sound, and so did the extravagant light show. His backdrop included three two-dimensional outlines of houses that lit up and changed colors. A few flood lights at the back and front illuminated the stage well. There were a few songs where lights changed to the melody and beat of the song, like “Too Good.”
His between song banter, of course, had to mention Milwaukee. “When I was looking at the tour stops, I genuinely was probably the most excited to come to Milwaukee,” Sivan said. “I’ve never been here before, I didn’t know a lot about it, and now that I’m here, its fucking the coolest place ever!”
Throughout Sivan’s set, he received a few gifts from the crowd, including his favorite chocolates from his native Australia and a large soup spoon with a light attached. Perhaps the most hilarious gift was a cheesehead, of which he had no idea could be worn as a hat.
Sivan also read multiple signs throughout the set. The one that stood out, though, was a boy’s sign asking him to be his boyfriend, to which he replied, “Sure!”
By the end of the set, he was so grateful, “Wow, this is great. I’ve got a soup spoon, some chocolates, a cheesehead and a boyfriend!”
While most of his set was upbeat and vibe-y, Sivan stripped it down for “Happy Little Pill,” his first ever single. Even though his music is still fairly new, a feeling of nostalgia was definitely felt over the crowd, as he came a long way from the single to selling out venues across the United States.
For being so young, his music is rather catchy, lyrically well-done and mature-sounding. This was definitely heard throughout his set, especially during “Heaven,” a song he had written before coming out and dedicated the song to the audience, letting everyone know who is going through tough times that they will be alright.
I’m hopeful he will be back in Milwaukee soon. The same goes for opener, LANY. Both are definitely going places.