Troye Sivan at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Monday September 23, 2019
Words | Tammy Whitelaw
Header image by Tam Schilling; see the full gallery here.
Troye Sivan calls some of the biggest names in pop music his close friends: Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Charli XCX, just to name a few. On Monday evening in Brisbane, the entire crowd entered that friendship circle. We were all invited into Troye’s bedroom (the place he takes himself to in his mind, to help with his confidence on stage) to dance, laugh, cry, share coming-out stories and obsess over the latest reality TV competition show. So, sorry Ariana, I’m pretty sure Troye and I are best friends now.
Dressed in a crisp white suit, Troye steps out to the single mic stand placed in front of the stage curtain. Delivering Bloom album opener Seventeen, Troye appears to be the young, meek YouTuber he once was.
Then the curtain drops to reveal the band, and Troye instantly transforms into the gay music icon he’s blossomed into over the past few years.
All of Troye’s Australian shows have been given a theme. Tonight, the theme is opulence. Even as I walked through the foyer of the convention centre before the show, it became clear that ‘opulence’ is just an everyday vibe for some Troye Sivan fans. Glitter, sequins, capes, crowns and all things fabulous are on display tonight. And just like any good best friend should, Troye showers the crowd in compliments. Asking for the house lights to be turned on, he points out his favourite looks in the crowd. “Oh my God, you eye makeup is insane! Is that two different coloured eyes?”
Troye’s debut album Blue Neighbourhood was the soundtrack to a young gay teen discovering himself and his sexuality, but even this evening, the songs he performs from that album are still as raw and emotional as they were back then. I choke back tears as Troye shares his coming-out story while introducing the song he wrote during that emotional time, Heaven. Rainbow lighting fills the stage as phone torches fill the rest of the room.
The songs from Bloom are a celebration of self-confidence and self-love. Troye is now a young man who has found those things, along with his place in the world: on stage, dancing wildly to his own hit songs. He encourages the crowd to do the same. “I want everyone on their feet for this song,” he demands. “Dance like no one is watching.” And it’s truly impossible to stay seated during Dance to This, Wild, and the Charli XCX hit 1999.
At one point, it seems a good chunk of the crowd are still buzzing from last night. “Did you guys go see The 1975 last night?” Troye asks the room. The screams suggest almost every second person was at The Riverstage to see the Manchester band the evening prior. It just shows the commitment these young fans have to their favourite artists.
Troye really brings the opulence when he returns to the stage for his encore. His backing band reappear dressed in suits and ball gowns, before Troye struts back on in an OTT look featuring some kind of diamond chest-piece and an impractical pair of sunglasses. But we all know opulence is never about practicality – he looks fabulous! Mega-hits Youth and My My My close out the show, before confetti cannons blast rainbow confetti over the crowd.
As a parting gesture, Troye admits to us that his last Brisbane show (back in 2016) is etched in his brain as one of his favourites ever, and assures the crowd: “As soon as I get off this stage tonight, I’m emailing the powers that be to make sure we’re back here in Brisbane as soon as possible.” Just remember, Troye, Friends Don’t Lie.