REVIEW: Troye Sivan, live in Birmingham

Troye Sivan
Pic: Chuff Media

Troye Sivan’s new album is all about Youth, and his fans at the live gig of the Blue Neighbourhood tour in Birmingham resemebled just that, Amani Carson went along to find out why the bar was so empty, but the dancefloor was so full.

I entered Birmingham’s Institute 2 just as Troye Sivan began to perform his first song of the night, ‘Bite’. And despite him only just having taken stage, the whole room already resembled a party; smoke filled and brimming with teens bouncing and swaying with as much energy as they could muster, all singing along to the dancing boy onstage who was crooning smooth vocals over melodic, moody synth. The only thing setting this party apart from others was that the space around the bar was completely empty – and remained that way throughout the night – indicative of 20-year old Troye’s youthful fanbase.

Troye gained his fanbase through his YouTube channel. As a pre-teen he began uploading videos of himself singing cover versions of famous songs. But it was when he started to incorporate comedy videos to his channel that he started to bring in subscribers by the millions. This then enabled him to showcase his beautiful vocals and musical talent (along with his magnetic personality) to millions across the globe – from the comfort of his own bedroom.

Finally in 2013 he was snapped up by EMI Australia and released his first official EP, ‘TRXYE’, the next year.

Fast forward to Spring 2016 and Troye has completed the European leg of his first full world tour, in support of his debut album, ‘Blue Neighbourhood’.

Keeping in theme with the album and its title ‘BLUE NEIGHBOURHOOD‘, Troye performed his set against a backdrop of 2D neon houses; starting out electric blue and adjusting with the mood of each song. His setlist consisted mostly of songs from the album, but he also threw in old time fan favourite and first single, ‘Happy Little Pill’, along with a touching and beautifully sung rendition of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Love Is a Losing Game’.

Something that set this gig aside from most others was that Troye took time out to talk to the audience in between songs – whether it be relaying an anecdote from his day, or talking about the inspiration for the next song in detail. As the majority of his fans are from his YouTube subscribers and had fallen for his personality as much as they had his music, him incorporating his talkative vlogging roots into the live show was perfectly apt, and gave the performance extra substance. It was also humbling to see how genuinely grateful Troye was to be on stage and he didn’t miss any opportunity to sincerely thank the audience, whom all had a part in helping him get where he is; with some even featuring in the backing vocals to track ‘Fools‘.

Like those fans, I have been a fan of Troye via his YouTube channel for years – and journeyed with him as he embarked on his music career – it was great to finally see his dreams manifesting right in front of me. A sentiment I’m sure the whole crowd shared too; and the fact that he put on such a great musical performance and that he thrived on stage left no doubt that this is where he was meant to be.

Troye’s tour in the UK is now over, but if your desperate to catch a glimpse, head over to the US… Or perhaps check out his latest single Youth.