Troye Sivan conquered ‘20gayteen’

Nearing the end of his North American ‘Bloom’ tour, Troye Sivan dazzled during his first of two sold-out shows at the Masonic Auditorium. “When I was recording ‘Bloom,’ I would always think of San Francisco whenever I’d think about the tour,” Sivan said. Contrasting the energetic, electric sounds of “Blue Neighborhood” (and the accompanying ‘Suburbia’ tour), “Bloom” offers a more sincere and raw look into Sivan’s personal life, particularly his sexuality.

Still high off of the major success of his sophomore album, it’s clear that Sivan solidified his status as a gay icon and pop star. As the 23-year-old South African-born Australian crooner noted, “The gays are out tonight!” From teenage girls and 20-somethings to grown men, this concert excluded no one and embraced San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ culture to its fullest extent. As rainbow flags filled the stadium, one thing was confirmed, it’s ‘20gayteen’ and Sivan is leading the way.

He started his set with “Seventeen,” the opening song off the album with a dramatic tone. Under a single spotlight with his face draped in red lights, he was met with a roaring crowd. With its semi-circle structure, the Nob Hill venue allowed for an intimate feeling despite it being a sold-out concert. “I can’t believe we sold this place out — twice!” he said, grinning with pride.

Sivan’s set list did not disappoint, with a healthy mix of song selections from both albums.  Sprinkled among the 10 tracks from “Bloom” were crowd favorites from “Blue Neighborhood,” including“Wild,” “Fools,” “Bite,” and most notably, “Ease,” which was performed for the first time during this tour.

Surprisingly, he did not play “Revelation,” the song from his new film, “Boy Erased,” in which he stars alongside Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Joel Edgerton. The  American-Australian coming-of-age drama is based off Garrard Conley’s 2016 memoir of the same name. The movie follows the son of a Baptist preacher who is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being outed as gay to his parents.

Unapologetically himself, Sivan provided unity and comfort for the LGBTQ+ community in divisive times. The ‘Suburbia’ tour was of a time when Sivan was still celebrating the simple things about being out and proud, like being able to openly hold hands with a man. Now, two years later, his celebration of his sexuality stems from a more mature place as he reflects on his journey, falling in love and heartbreak.  

The richest personal anecdote of the night preceded his performance of “Heaven” as he explained how it served as therapy for his young 14-year-old self struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. Today, the song’s meaning has shifted, now representing how his life has transformed, answering to no one but himself. “The song is so much more about this for me now, which is to me one of the most beautiful sights in the entire world,” he said. “Which is a bunch of people who are having a really really good time, not giving a shit about anyone else.”

Ending the night with a two-song encore of his hits “My Youth” and “My My My!,” the show ended on a positive, feel-good note. However, with only an hour and 20-minute set, he left the audience hungry for more. This seemed like a deliberate move from Sivan as he has enough songs to do a two hour set. Sivan made himself clear that “Blue Neighborhood” was then, and “Bloom” is now. He’s not looking to neglect his past work but is choosing to celebrate who he is now. His confidence is his sexuality and self-worth is higher than ever, and he refuses to dwell on the past.

Sivan is destined for greatness; the itch to go on larger tours and play bigger venues is apparent from both him and his crowd. It has been five years since the release of his first single “Happy Little Pill” from his debut ep “TRXYE” (2014), and fans are ready for more. With his album debuting at No. 4 on Billboard’s 200 chart, recent collaborations with Charlie XCX and Ariana Grande, and recent performance with Taylor Swift, it seems Sivan is making his move to become a household name. Just wait, he’ll bloom.