Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album, “Sour,” scored rave reviews, and now it’s a 28-minute concert film that’s giving us “deja vu” for a certain teenage rite of passage and all the dizzying emotions that come with it: prom.
“Sour Prom” premiered Tuesday night via livestream on YouTube. The 18-year-old Rodrigo, whose single “driver’s license” made her a household name back in January, announced the concert on Instagram last week, writing that “since I never got to go to my prom, I wanted to throw a little prom party with my fave ppl (you guys obvs).”
The result is a cinematic journey through the album, including some tracks’ first live performances, that has already amassed nearly 5 million views.
Check out the show’s best moments, from the melancholy to rockin’, here.
The big night begins with a limo pulling up to a familiar suburban street. Except the driver is not here to transport a group of friends to the dance but a solo Rodrigo, setting the scene for our first song, or songs, rather. As the car begins to roll away, Rodrigo begins a a medley of songs from “Sour,” including hits like “Drivers License” and “Deja Vu” as well as one of the album’s quieter tracks, “Happier.”
However, Rodrigo is not alone for long. As she arrives to the party and steps onto the dance floor, the singer launches into her most rollicking track, “Brutal.” The scene features a tracking shot reminiscent of “Carrie,” with the camera roaming around the crowded gym. The performance doesn’t end with Rodrigo covered in pig’s blood though, but with her classmates circling around her as if in a daze.
Now it’s time for the slow dance and one of the album’s many stinging breakup anthems. Rodrigo sings “Traitor,” reflecting on how she ended up without a dance partner as starry-eyed couples swirl around her.
Rodrigo then realizes her relationship status is one just of the many comparisons that are “killing me slowly,” giving way to her first live rendition of “Jealousy, Jealousy.” As the angsty jam builds, people begin to mob Rodrigo, and the pressure to lead a life that’s as cool as it looks on Instagram becomes too much to bear.
It’s time to take a break from that (assumedly) hot and sweaty gym. Rodrigo stumbles upon a darkroom filled with photographs developing into memories. She picks up a conveniently placed guitar and begins strumming “Enough For You,” a heartfelt postmortem of a relationship that left Rodrigo feeling less than “the other prom queens” her ex had loved before.
Grabbing a suit jacket to layer over her shiny blue dress, Rodrigo wanders back into the dance and through the parking lot as the opening chords of her No. 1 hit “drivers license” follow her out. Heartbreak appears to be the unifying force for the school as there is a crowd waiting for Rodrigo on the football field.
A marching band-accompanied rendition of “Good 4 U” ensures that “Sour Prom” ends on a sweet note. The rousing tune is a final middle-finger to Rodrigo’s ex and provides the type of movie-ready ending that so many high-schoolers have been deprived of for the last year.
Although “Sour Prom” has been embraced by fans and critics alike, the film has found one very vocal naysayer in Courtney Love, who accused Rodrigo of paying homage to Hole’s iconic “Live Through This” album cover art a little too faithfully in her promotional photos for the film.
“Stealing an original idea and not asking permission is rude,” Love wrote. “There’s no way to be elegant about it. I’m not angry. It happens all the time to me. And really I’m very gracious or say nothing. But this was bad form.”
Many commenters were quick to defend Rodrigo by countering that crying big black mascara tears at prom is a hallowed tradition that predates Love and will continue long after her.
Watch the full concert film here.