Last night at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Troye Sivan asked the lighting tech to turn on the house lights, and gasped when he saw the sold-out crowd really did stretch all the way to the tip-top of the storied outdoor amphitheater. “LA, I don’t mean to brag, but we sold out the Greek!” he exclaimed, with the knowing pride of a California local, floored by his own presence at such a landmark venue.
It seems that even after his new album Bloom — for which he memorably announced the release date onstage at a Taylor Swift show — debuted in the Billboard top five back in September, the 23-year-old blossoming star can still barely believe his good fortune. Well on his way to being a pop star on the Swift level, if I wasn’t already convinced of his staying power by Bloom‘s succinct, brilliant run-time, last night put to rest any further doubt: Sivan is a pop star of the highest order. He will never play a proper tour show at a venue as small as the Greek again.
One of the hallmarks of a pop star, particularly in the Swiftian understanding of the role, is an eye (or an ear) for other rising talents. The same way Taylor bestowed her blessing on Camila Cabello and Troye this year (and one of his notable collaborators, Charli XCX), he, in turn, tapped rising talent like Kim Petras to open for him on tour, even side-stepping potential drama when Petras defended her frequent collaborator, Dr. Luke, drawing the ire of the public shaming machine hellbent on defending Kesha. Sivan responded not by cutting Petras off, but allowing that her opinion didn’t align with his, and donating money from the shows to organizations like RAINN that help survivors of sexual assault. He turned a negative into a positive, and without throwing a fellow LGBTQ artist under the bus.
For her part, Petras was an excellent opener for Sivan, rocking a “bloody and slutty” Halloween costume, and bringing her signature, sparkling pop bops to a venue that was already mostly full in anticipation of the main attraction. The inroads Petras has made this year, as one of the most prominent transgender pop stars in a world that has long been unwelcoming to this identity, are revolutionary in their own right, and she deserves massive respect for bangers like “Heart To Break,” and plenty of other beloved gems off her latest release, Turn Off The Lights, Vol. 1.