It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Olivia Rodrigo’s debut on the prestigious Saturday Night Live stage. As expected, it was emotional.
Astronomically talented does not even begin to explain Olivia Rodrigo and the hit songs she brought to life in Studio 8H. The Disney star turned pop icon stunned right out of the gate on SNL, while also making her mark as one of the youngest musical guests. From her pensive opener to her theatrical closing number, the starlet made sure to show her range.
SNL Act One
The stunning and soulful performer took the stage with “drivers license.” The heartwrenching pop ballad gave Olivia Rodrigo a chance to belt, shine, whisper, and evoke emotion. Sorrow seeps through her every pore and SNL’s massive audience felt that. Every impassioned voice crack and soul-stirring range of notes represented her feelings – the same feelings that brought these aching lyrics to life in the first place.
Rodrigo let her guard down simply by releasing “drivers license.” She embodies vulnerability through her music and the personal narratives she crafts. This performance took that a step further. The HSMTMTS star, dressed in a pink and red slip dress and simple braided hair, looked powerless. Her connection to the lyrics is one thing, having come from personal heartache. Another thing, though, is the real power she found within herself to share the story with the world and on the Saturday Night Live stage. If there is anyone to look up to in times of sensitivity and reservation, it’s Olivia Rodrigo.
Through this song, her vulnerable SNL performance, and captivating musicality, this star has become so much more than your everyday pop star. She is a figure of composure, the pinnacle of artistry, and the future of the music industry.
SNL Act Two
Olivia Rodrigo, as risky as she is skilled, dropped “good 4 u” just a day before SNL. She also performed it live as her second number. While that might be risky for some artists, Rodrigo’s consistently viral success means that fans already knew every word to the song (regardless of its über-recent release). Her performance of the brand new, already chart-topping track actually stole the show.
Sure, viewers probably shed a tear during “drivers license,” but “good 4 u” had them grooving. This song is only her third release prior to her first album, Sour, which drops Friday, May 21.
Her first two releases, “drivers license” and “deja vu,” were romantic, singer-songwriter tracks. The former broke records as the alternative pop ballad that had everyone throwing love and sympathy her way. Although the latter was more of a dream pop breakout, it still mimicked the emotion of her debut. Now, “good 4 u” is here and proves that versatility needs to be on Olivia Rodrigo’s quickly growing resume.
“Good 4 u” live was an experience not to be missed by anyone. If you have yet to see the performance, having not watched it live, open YouTube right away. Rodrigo takes her anguish and throws it full-force at the wall. How it bounces back is as a pop punk banger a lá Paramore’s Hayley Williams. What was already a theatrical song was given another level of flair while at SNL.
Evolving, Shining, & Owning Up To Her World Domination
During her second performance, Rodrigo gave the world a glimpse at her acting chops, vocal abilities, and stage presence. (Fans are saying that if this episode of SNL doesn’t make you itch for an Olivia Rodrigo tour, nothing will.) A matching plaid corset and plaid joggers, Doc Marten boots, and a belt chain gave massive nineties rocker vibes. (An edgier look for an edgier song.) Be that as it may, the singer had the most youthful, modern fun on stage. She danced, sang, flipped her hair, got up in the camera, and proved the song had more attitude than any of her catalog thus far.
Commanding the stage comes second nature to this massive, bubbly, resilient, wise performer. Olivia Rodrigo held her own standing in front of the microphone baring her soul just as well as she did while scampering around the stage with spunk.
With just three songs and a handful of live performances to her name, this star has shone in unexpected ways. She has explored three different genres, shared a variety of talents, and has the world whipped by it all.
People are especially loving that “good 4 u” dropped the same day as the season premiere of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. What a coincidence that Rodrigo’s first explicit song came at the same time as the premiere of her Disney show. Then she performed it on Saturday Night Live, further blurring the lines between child star and global pop sensation. At Music Daily, we can’t help but adore the irony and turn “good 4 u” up a little louder.