Olivia Rodrigo kicks off ‘Guts World Tour’ and critics are singing praises

The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been called a ‘generation-defining artist,’ among other glowing reviews.

Olivia Rodrigo’s highly anticipated “Guts World Tour” opened last Feb. 23 at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, California, much to the delight of the pop superstar’s fans. This is her first arena tour and her second concert tour after her 49-show debut “Sour Tour” in 2022. 

Rodrigo joins other artists like Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny, Drake, and Nicki Minaj who have ongoing or upcoming tours this year.

“Guts World Tour” is the 21-year-old pop superstar’s second concert tour after 2022’s “Sour Tour.” Photo from the Olivia Rodrigo official website

“Guts World Tour” is expected to have 77 shows divided into three legs with schedules across the United States, Canada, and Europe in the next six months, with the last show scheduled on Aug. 17. 

Rodrigo, who turned 21 just three days before she kicked off her world tour, must be feeling ecstatic not only after performing in front of 11,000 screaming fans, but also after reading critics raving about the entire production. 

What fans should expect

Though there are no schedules in Asia, some of you might be flying out to watch her in any of the stops or are just curious about what the “Guts World Tour” has in store for Livies, the official name of the multi-talented performer’s fandom (some still insist on “Rodrighoes” though).

According to an article on Rolling Stone, Rodrigo did not cover a song on the opening night of her tour. With two albums in her discography, she already has enough songs for a 95-minute concert without having to cover any. 

Olivia Rodrigo
Rodrigo, who turned 21 just three days before she kicked off her world tour, must be feeling ecstatic after performing in front of 11,000 screaming fans. Photo by Kevin Mazur, Getty Images for Acrisure Arena

All 22 songs in the set come from “Sour” and “Guts,”  including Obsessed, one of the exclusive bonus tracks that came with some editions of her sophomore studio album.

All 12 songs from the standard edition of “Guts” got played, plus nine out of 11 songs from “Sour.”

Here’s the complete setlist of Rodrigo’s “Guts World Tour” based on the opening night.

  1. Bad Idea, Right?
  2. Ballad of a Homeschooled Girl
  3. Vampire
  4. Traitor
  5. Drivers License
  6. Teenage Dream
  7. Pretty Isn’t Pretty
  8. Love Is Embarrassing
  9. Making the Bed
  10. Logical
  11. Enough for You
  12. Lacy
  13. Jealousy, Jealousy
  14. Happier
  15. Favorite Crime
  16. Déjà vu
  17. The Grudge
  18. Brutal
  19. Obsessed
  20. All-American Bitch
  21. Good 4 U
  22. Get Him Back!

Her five musicians and two backup singers are now joined by eight dancers.

The concert is divided into what seems like chronological segments that reference her younger years leading to the (still young) superstar that she is now, with the first several songs a homage of sorts to her past. She told Rolling Stone that she did so “to not skip any steps on her ascent to success.”

One of the most widely shared segments so far is the one for Logical and Enough for You, two of Rodrigo’s most intimate songs, where she straps herself onto a glowing crescent moon that hovers over the crowd.

What critics are saying

Olivia Rodrigo Guts World Tour
Olivia Rodrigo during the kick off of “Guts World Tour” at Acrisure Arena on Feb 23 in Palm Springs, California. Photo by Christopher Polk for Penske Media

The opening salvo of “Guts World Tour” has received with glowing reviews, with critics singing praises about the entire production.

Pop music critic Jon Caramanica of The New York Times describes the concert as having “sparkle and abandon.” He opens his article by saying that Rodrigo “wields a rather unusual arsenal of weapons.”

He further describes her as being an acute writer and an unself-conscious singer. “She is modest, not salacious. In just three years, she has achieved something approaching stratospheric fame—a four-times platinum debut album and a Grammy for best new artist—while somehow remaining an underdog,” Caramanica continued in his positive review of Rodrigo and her ongoing tour. 

Tomás Mier of Rolling Stone says that with “Guts World Tour,” Rodrigo cements her position in pop culture as a generation-defining artist. As a rockstar. And as an energy-filled idol that is only just beginning her career.” 

Chris Willman of Variety headlines his review with ”Olivia Rodrigo is the actual rock star we’ve needed in a galvanizing ‘Guts Tour’ opening.” He even goes as far as saying that the concert is “maybe the best rock tour we’ll get all year, even if the season is young.”

Another pop music critic, Mikael Wood of The Los Angeles Times, calls the concert “thrilling,” and the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, “not merely a teen-phenom survivor but a thriving adult.”

He adds that the show “is a more elaborate affair than her first outing, with plenty of arena-gig spectacle.” 

Despite the flashiness of the production, though, it does not overwhelm her performance, which showcases her strong live vocals and her affectionate interactions with her seven-piece band, which consists entirely of women and nonbinary people, according to Wood.  

Looks like with Olivia Rodrigo’s many talents and yes, guts, things can only be bigger and brighter for the gutsy Filipino-American artist. We can only hope for a Manila stop soon!

Associate Editor

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