Troye Sivan At Radio City Music Hall, Tuesday, October 9th, 2018, Reviewed

Written by | October 10, 2018 18:30 pm | No Comments

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Many, many years ago, one of my best friends at school confided to me that he was the top in a secret homosexual relationship with another of my friends. Though not actually, since they were still figuring out how to actually do it. When I caught up with my friend a year or so later he confided that he had, indeed, began having anal intercourse with my other friend. The top didn’t identify as gay but as 90% hetereosexual. If he had been the bottom I would have been surprised and when I think about  gay sex and pop, it would certainly appear that David Bowie, with all his carefully worded bi sexuality appeared to be but wasn’t a bottom and Elton John with his drunken loutish was definitely a top. Which leads to Tuesday night at Troye Sivan at Radio City Music Hall.  Sivan may be many things, among them a true pop star of the highest magnitude, but in the gay community he was a self confessed bottom. If his sophomore album, Bloom, currently my third best album of 2018, is anything, it is clearly and unmistakably the story of a man losing his virginity to an older man. Tuesday night Troye sang:

I need you to
Tell me right before it goes down
Promise me you’ll
Hold my hand if I get scared now
Might tell you to
Take a second, baby, slow it down
You should know I, you should know I
I bloom just for you
(I bloom) just for you
(Yeah, I bloom) I bloom just for you
(I bloom) just for you
Come on, baby, play me like a love song
Every time it comes on
I get this sweet desire
(Yeah, I bloom) I bloom just for you

The heavily gay and lesbian audience howled their appreciation, as this lithe, no not androgynous but clearly gay twink new pop icon, touching his body and writhe dancing on stage like a Mick Jagger who had let David Bowie bloom, was the finishing end of the coming to terms with same sex in the 21st Century. Deep into the spotlight, a gorgeous, blonde, gay man taking the 80s template of synth pop, of Duran Duran, and leading the New Romantics to their ultimately sexual hang: the sex bomb bottom.

Bloom is a great album neither because nor in spite of its clear homosexual pronoun hot sex slam jam, but as a part of it. If Iggy was ambiguous, there is nothing at all in doubt when it comes to Troye.

Troye at Radio City was a coming out party, born in South Africa, he moved to Perth in Australia (“literally as far away from New York as you can find on a map”) as a child,  raised by a  supportive, middle class family Troye sang songs on his youtube channel till the world caught on. There is something golden about the bottle blonde, something where he always ends up on “The Good Side”.

Last night was more than a celebration, there was nothing left of ACT UP, no lectures about condoms, no AIDs, no violence, it was as clear as day that Troye subsumed the role of victim till he ate it alive. Near the beginning of the set, the Jewish Troye invited a Jewish man up on stage to ask his Jewish boyfriend to marry him,  that’s the sort of thing Bruce Springsteen does as a second career, have people ask their loved ones to marry them,  but the liberating thrill, the happy laughs and clapping from the audience seemed like an equalizing step, it seemed like a freedom that Troye owed himself.It helps that along with his squad, opening act songwriter Leland, Jónsi of Sigur Rós, and Allie X, he has written an album of first rate pop songs, Bloom is a full tilt 35 minutes of joy of sex and love and gayness that cuts right across gender perceptions.

Opening for Troye was the aforementioned Leland, who can absolutely write a song for one thing, and the transitioned from male to female at the age of thirteen pop tart Kim Petras -her new album is pretty good, but a short skirt does not a set make.

Troye was inescapable and uplifting, opening with one of his best songs “Seventeen” about losing his virginity to an older man he met on Tinder, he was a sexual dynamo in sky high good spirits, Troye completely connected with his audience. I had just seen Leon Bridges at the same venue last Friday and one of Leon’s biggest faults was he couldn’t speak to the audience, everything felt like canned on cue crap we hear a hundred times a year, Troye said at one point “I am babbling because I really, really don’t want this show to end…”

The only really big disappointed of the entire 90 minute evening was Troye canning his cover of Post Malone’s “Better Now” but we got the song he wrote for Joel Edgerton’s upcoming  movie “Boy Erased” (about homosexual children forced to conversion camp), the lovely “Revelation”. Charli XCX also showed up to sing her latest Troye featured single “1999” which I panned a coupla days ago but am willing to admit my mistake, it’s a terrific dance track. Really, it was a constantly thrilling show with a great backing band and as good a vibing as you will ever go to. I went with my sixteen year old Great-Niece and we enjoyed every minute. You can’t beat a great pop star with the first whiff of superstardom about him, just overjoyed to be there. This is Troye’s fourth tour and this is the one where he broke a wall for gay teens and a wall for himself.

Grade: A-

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