While the streets surrounding the 1720 Warehouse were eerily silent on Saturday at 10 p.m., outside of a garage door stood a line of young, purple-clad Olivia Rodrigo fans singing songs off of her new album, “GUTS.” Club 90s held an official album release dance party to celebrate Rodrigo’s sophomore hit, alongside Rodrigo’s official fan club, livies hq.
Inside of the venue, the excitement was palpable. As a song by Conan Gray, Rodrigo’s best friend, came on over the speakers, there was a collective scream from the audience. Friends clung to each other and sang passionately to hits by Gray, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, among others.
The event, which was co-hosted by Rodrigo’s record label, Geffen Records, drew Rodrigo’s most empathic fans. Although the majority of songs played weren’t actually Rodrigo’s, the crowd gave the night their all.
Fans went wild for Rodrigo’s debut written single “All I Want” from her Disney+ series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” which launched Rodrigo’s songwriting career. It was clear that many audience members were long-time listeners. They were, however, equally eager to hear new songs from “GUTS.”
Many of Rodrigo’s hit songs are slower heartbreak ballads, but fans weren’t discouraged by the quiet nature of her songs. During “the grudge,” two friends in the front row fell to the ground in anticipation of singing the song surrounded by fellow fans. These songs seemed to be cathartic for the audience, especially in this atmosphere which is traditionally meant for dancing and louder music. Many couples took these songs as an opportunity to slow dance in the club. Although the album has its share of rock-pop songs, these heartbreak anthems were crowd pleasers.
That’s not to say every slow song was a hit. The last track of Rodrigo’s new album, ”teenage dream,” was met with less enthusiasm. Perhaps this reflected in the nature of the event, given the song is about the growing pains of being a teenager, but Club 90s required all attendees to be over 18.
Despite the song that was playing, all audience members seemed to find joy in the event’s DJ, Jeffery Lyman (Jeffery The DJ), who was decked out in “GUTS” merch and a purple boa. During every song, he was full of infectious energy which rubbed off on the fans. When he got especially into it, Lyman would dance around the stage, jumping up and down, spinning and even doing the worm.
Despite alleged tension between Rodrigo and fellow pop artists Taylor Swift, Sabrina Carpenter and Paramore, Jeffery played hits from all three artists and was met by astounding cheers from the crowd. “Cruel Summer,” which is the center of much of the alleged drama between Rodrigo and Swift, turned out to be a crowd favorite. It seems that most of Rodrigo’s listeners share an appreciation for this genre of recent pop music, and they seemed to know the lyrics to all of the songs played.
At any given time, phones were pulled out as fans sang into their cameras. This reflected the social media oriented generation that Rodrigo appeals most to, as she originally went viral on TikTok first with her song “All I Want,” then again with her song “driver’s license.”
The fans fully committed to Rodrigo’s look. They arrived dressed in her signature color purple, and many sported the merch for “GUTS” only a day after its release. Even the club lights were set to varying shades of purple, pink and blue in celebration of the artist.
If this is any indication of fans’ excitement and enthusiasm for Rodrigo and her music, it bodes well for a potential upcoming tour. In the meantime, it is clear that Rodrigo’s fans are ready to celebrate both her new and old music.