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The Bloom Tour – Chicago, Milwaukee, and L.A.

This post is a solid month overdue, but every time I wrote and rewrote it, it became more and more difficult to explain in words what this past month has meant to me. I guess there isn’t a way to fully do the Bloom Tour experience justice in words, so just read the following as it is and multiple everything times like, 10.

Music has always been the biggest part of my life. When I was 4 I went to my first concert at a summer festival in my hometown called, The Waterfront, and I fell in love with the live music. When I was 8, I joined choir, and I fell in love with singing. When I was 14 I wrote my first song and I fell in love with songwriting. When I was 16 I took guitar lessons and I fell in love with performance. And now at 20, after years of singing and songwriting and putting together music festivals and conducting interviews – I’ve never been so sure of anything that music is my future.

Music has been the one constancy in my life. It’s been the thing I’ve never grown out of it and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life (songwriting specifically).

As I’ve mentioned at least a million times on this blog….musician / songwriter / actor / sweet boy, Troye Sivan, has been one of my biggest musical inspirations.

This past month I’ve had the experience of watching him perform live 3 times, getting to chat with him, and getting to hear what he has to say to those interested in working in the music industry. October was a joinery for me, and I’m always beyond thankful for every interaction I get to have with the lil rockstar.

Chicago

Us with Troye after his soundcheck

Friday, October 19th. Chicago Theatre.

I had the privilege of attending Troye’s soundcheck before the show.

In between songs (he was soundchecking COOL, Lucky Strike, and Plum) Troye and his band did a mini q&a about pursuing a career in the music industry.

They talked to us about the highs and lows of touring, and how they each got their start with music.

One of the major takes I got out of their experience is to make connections and get to know people who are also working towards music. Who you know is a big part of it all.

Troye during his performance of Seventeen

Bloom Tour Chicago would be my 8th time at a Troye Sivan show. 8th time around since the end of his Youtube days — and this would also be the biggest venue I have ever seen him play. The Chicago Theatre. Entirely sold out. Capacity: 3,600 people.

His set began with a dramatic curtain drop to him on a platform stage, singing, Seventeen — a song about his encounters with older men at a young age.

“I got these beliefs that I think you wanna break / Got something here to lose that I think you wanna take from me,” first line of the night.

He made his entrance in a professional tuxedo and would make several wardrobe changes throughout the night.  

Troye singing Postcard

The stage set up for this tour was an insane glo-up compared to his past tours. The stage provided high platforms for Troye to stand on during songs, creating, as Troye put it, “a Taylor Swift moment.”

During Post Card, The Good Side, and What A Heavenly Way to Die, a couch was brought on the stage, surrounded by beautifully lit lamps and dimmed red and blue lighting.

This served as the soft slower side of the tour, and as predicted, I did cry during The Good Side.

I was also gagged by the beauty of his, What A Heavenly Way To Die, performance. He sang the slow love anthem while laying down on the couch while pouring emotion into every lyric he sang. This was the peak performance of the night.

He played all of his songs from Bloom, and 6 from Blue Neighbourhood – WILD, HEAVEN, FOOLS, BITE, COOL, and YOUTH. 16 songs total.

My concert friends and I prior to the show

This show felt so much more sophisticated compared to his last three tours. His confidence, his style, his stage presence — everything felt so much more… grown up.

While it really was a good show, something about it felt a bit too rehearsed. There were moments of the show where everything felt very calculated and less authentic, like during Plum and Bloom, where he seemed to be just going through the motions.

Maybe it was because this was my first time seeing Troye in a venue so big. Maybe there’s more pressure on him this time around.

My 8th Troye show and it felt a little less…Troyeish. This filled me with a disgusting amount of nostalgia — nostalgic to the point where I teared up during YOUTH….YOUTH.

As happy as I was for Troye to thrive in front of thousands and thousands of fans, it left me with a weird longing for 2015; for when Troye was only performing for a crowd under 500, and everything felt more connected and personal.

*cue EASE and SUBURBIA playing nostalgically in the background*

Weirdly enough, the both of us seem to grow and change in our own way during the same time — which is part of the reason I’ve always felt connected with him and his music. But for the first time, I felt a bit disconnected from it all. (which lead me to tear up even more during Youth). As I start to grow out of the stan scene and focus on myself and my own music and my own work, it’s bittersweet to take in that it’ll never be like 2015 again.

Chicago Bloom Stop: 7/10

Milwaukee:

Troye singing his opening number

Saturday, October 20th. The Rave Eagles Ballroom.

Milwaukee Bloom stop was the day right after Chicago. The show was held at The Rave, capacity: 3,000 people. The major difference with this stop was that it was one of the few venues on the tour that was entirely GA.

GA shows always seem to make the concert experience a thousand times better. You meet new people while waiting in line, you betray those people as you fight your way to barricade, you almost pass out like 20 times due to overcrowding and exhaustion – but that’s the fun of it!

At the Chicago Theatre, my view was all the way towards the back of the lower section, but this time I was back at my usual spot on the barricade, center stage.

Because this stage and venue were smaller than the rest, his platforms couldn’t be accommodated for the stage. This meant he had to compromise his dramatic curtain revival entrance with a dramatic Phantom of the Opera moment. He started off singing Seventeen on the balcony, with a dramatic spotlight and worked his way down to the stage.

Troye singing The Good Side

The intimacy of GA already started to make the show feel more like an OG Troye Sivan show, and I think Troye felt that as well.

His energy compared to the night before felt more like him. The crowd itself had livelier energy compared to Chicago. Troye looked like he was having so much more fun, and by the time he was on Plum, the show was just better than the night before. Wig severely snatched this time around.

Staying on brand, I cried again during The Good Side, the downside being the fact Troye could actually see me this time and saw me cry like booboo the fool.

My booboo the fool uwu moment was turned quickly around with his performance of BITE.

BITE has been and will always remain his superior song from his entire discography. It serves as his most hyped bop to perform, and sadly, given the fact that the Chicago Theatre is not a place for hyped shows, I didn’t get to have fun with it the night before.

But thanks to The Rave being GA, and to Toye being much more Troyeish that night, BITE made her come back with a moshing crowd and crackhead energy.

Troye stage diving during COOL

Right when I thought Troye couldn’t feed Milwaukee any better, he gave the gays what they wanted with a performance of 1999 (which he did not perform at the chicago stop wow are we seeing a pattern here).

Hearing 1999 live for my first time was an e x p e r i e n c e. An e x p e r i e n c e. I thought BITE would forever and always hold the crown as his wildest live song, but 1999 (his song with Charli XCX) might be the one now. 1999 was not originally on the setlist, but like I said, something about the intimacy of this crowd made everything feel like a Troye show, and being on a high and in the moment of it all, Troye decided to play it.

Bloom tour Milwaukee was insanely fun. The lack of authenticity I felt from the Chicago stop was definitely made up by his Milwaukee performance. The staginess was gone, and I gained a new appreciation for Plum and Lucky Strike.

This nostalgia was still there though. The night felt like a flashback to 2015, but with a more confident Troye, and it made me kind of sad to know that this would probably be my last time experiencing a Troye show like this. I personally think Troye thrives better in smaller settings, but I also understand that he is on his way to becoming a mainstream pop star.

Milwaukee Bloom Tour Stop: 10/10

Los Angeles:

Took this photo from the highest point at The Greek to capture how big it really is

Tuesday, October 30th. Greek Theatre.

I thought my Bloom Tour experience was over after the Milwaukee stop. But due to a last minute phone call, I found myself on a plane headed all the way across the country to L.A.

For super secret reasons I cannot spill all of the L.A Bloom Tour tea, and chunks of the story have to be left out, so use your imagination to fill in the blanks.

The first thing I want to point out about the L.A stop is the location. The Greek Theatre. Capacity: 5,870 people. A very prominent theatre in LA and also in the hills.

If you thought I was shook by the number of people seeing Troye in Chicago, imagine my state of mind when I pulled up to The Greek.

Troye singing HEAVEN

My seat for the L.A stop was at the top in the right-hand side corner, giving me a completely different view of the stage and the crowd compared to the other stops.

One of my favorite parts about this view was the appreciation it gave me for Heaven.

During Heaven, Troye’s song about his struggles with his sexuality and coming out as a teenager, the lights illuminated a rainbow over the crowd. This was the first time on tour that I actually got to see for myself what the audience looked like lit up in pride colors, and it was a pure and beautiful site to witness.

Troye as Gary in Boy Erased

Troye also performed Revelation at the L.A stop. Revelation is a song Troye wrote for the new movie he is featured in, Boy Erased. Boy Erased, directed by Joel Edgerton and starring, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, is about the son of a Baptist preacher who is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Troye plays the character of Gary, one of the boys in the conversion program.

Boy Erased is a very important movie for the lgbtq community, especially for parents of lgbtq kids, and so hearing the emotion and love in Revelation live, was a chilling and surreal moment.

Troye on the big screen

The energy of the show, was again, very different compared to the other stops. The L.A stop was a home stop for Troye — his friends and family and everyone who made Bloom come to life were there — which made the night feel a bit more special, and showed the most authentic side of Troye thus far on his tour. The Greek Theatre is one of the most prominent theatres in L.A, and seeing Troye sell it out and have the time of his life on stage, left everyone in the venue feeling immensely proud.

He gave a speech towards the end of his set about how as someone who grew up in Australia with a crazy dream of becoming a pop star as a kid, L.A seemed so far away to him, and fluffing his dreams felt like it would always be just a…dream. But he did it. And he did it better than anyone could have imagined.

He closed the show with, My! My! My!, creating a rave type of feeling that was truly a serve.

“Oh my, my, my / I die every night with you / Oh my, my, my /Living for your every move / oh my, my, my.” Last line of the night.

Troye singing Bloom

As someone who also has a dream of creating pop music, the L.A stop of the Bloom Tour was a big moment for me too. Being surrounded by other songwriters and influencers, spending a night in the hills, and just being fully inspired to keep pursuing music – it was a lot to take in. Growing up in the middle of nowhere Illinois, I never thought I would even get this far, never thought I would even leave the state, but that night left me feeling way more optimistic and hopeful and I have Troye to thank for that.

The nostalgic feeling I felt during Chicago and Milwaukee was gone, and everything felt more in place. Dancing in the hills to, Dance to This, with people I was meeting for the first time, being around weirdly supportive people for L.A, and just feeling like myself for once – I cannot wait to move out there after college graduation and thrive for myself. (and yes, if you were wondering I DID cry again to The Good Side).

LA Bloom Tour Stop: 10/10

Carlie Hanson and Kim Petras:

Carlie Hanson during Toxins

I also want to give major props to the openers of Bloom Tour: Carlie Hanson and Kim Petras. This tour wouldn’t have been the same without these two super talented girls.

Carlie Hanson is a young rockstar on the rise. The 18-year-old went from working a McDonalds Drive Thru in the middle of the cornfields of Wisconsin — to opening up for Troye Sivan, within the timespan of a little over one year.

If you want to find out more about Carlie, you can read the piece I wrote on her back in September here.

Kim singing I Don’t Want It At All

Kim Petras…Kim Petras. The “Regina George” of pop music. Kim’s set probably overall was my favorite part of the Bloom Tour.

I had an insane amount of fun during her entire set. From getting to hear her perform her new Halloween album, Turn Off the Light, live for the first time, to literally losing my voice to Hillside Boys (my personal favorite) and All The Time — Kim might just be the best pop girl I’ve ever seen live.

The 26-year-old made headlines in her hometown of Germany back when she was 16-years-old for being one of the youngest people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. This was a huge moment in Kim’s life, but also a time where she had to deal with many intrusive headlines and interviews.

Kim Petras interacting with the crowd

For a while Kim worked as model for hair salons in Germany. She’s always been a very stylish girl and remains a fashion icon today.

In 2013, she started to work with producers to pursue a career in music. Her music was uploaded onto her SoundCloud, while she was also writing for other artists.

Kim made her breakthrough in 2017 with the debut of her single, I Don’t Want It All, that went viral and included a cameo of Paris Hilton in the music video.

Her sound is a party-pop-girl aesthetic. Kim says her music is typically about, ‘“love, superficiality and rich dudes who broke my heart.”

Me with the lovely miss Petras

Her ability to hit the highest notes left me gagging, as well did her graceful and comical stage presence. (One of my favorite parts being her introducing her designer “bitchy” bag to the crowd). Alongside with her DJ / hype man, Aaron Joseph, the two were REALLY able to get the gays going and create a party out of the Bloom Tour.

After getting to chat with Kim, I can honestly say she’s one the nicest, and overall coolest girls in the pop scene, and I cannot wait to watch her thrive throughout the upcoming years.

Not only is Kim the future of pop music, but she’s also a  huge inspiration to the lgbtq community, and it’s so refreshing to see trans representation in the mainstream music scene.

Final Thoughts:

Troye & I after his Boy Erased panel

The Bloom Tour. Chicago. Milwaukee. LA. Same tour. 3 different states. 3 very different feelings. Chicago – being there on a press pass. Milwaukee – being there as a stan for fun with my friends. LA- being there for my future hopes in music. The tour was an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows, but left me feeling insanely proud of miss Troye Sivan. With matured vocals, a more confident stage presence, amazing openers, and more fans than ever before – the Bloom Tour has been a huge success.

While his past tours such as, Suburbia Tour and Blue Neighbourhood Tour, had more of a melancholy and edgy vibe to it, Bloom Tour offered a much lighter tone. Hearing him sing songs that were honest and open about love and growth, such as Animal, The Good Side, and What A Heavenly Way to Die, showed us a very different side of Troye Sivan and left me with goosebumps the entire time.

The North American leg is officially over, and international dates were just announced this morning.

I strongly recommend every goes to a Troye show at least once in their life. It’s an experience you really don’t want to miss.

Overall Bloom Tour Rating: 9.5/10

I also strongly encouraged everyone to go see Boy Erased if it’s playing at a theatre near you. (Or you can just read the book – they’re equally as beautiful and important).

Jacob Bix & I (Ford Model / Troye’s bf / kermit the frog)

Again, I just want to give the biggest thank you to Troye for being such a role model to me. It was great to see him again, as well as getting to chat with Jacob Bixenman. I have nothing but love and gratitude for the both of them, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for all of us.

My name is Tara and I put out articles for UIC Radio on whatever day I can. I’m a media communication and professional writing major at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I host a pop music show, PopTara, on UIC Radio every Wednesday from 8:30pm-10:30pm. If you want to keep up with my saucy life you can follow me here:

twitter – @phemebot

music instagram – @lyricsbytara

personal instagram@tarabolar

facebook – @PopTara

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