02 May 2019

Rhythm and big queer energy

Troye Sivan wrote my pre-deflowering song, Bloom, the title track of his latest album and name of the ongoing tour, of which I had been — and I say this with a plum-lip smile — an active audience.

I'll dive into mystic waters here. There are those who are present in the moment, and those who make you feel present in their moment. My impulse soon after watching Troye's debut concert in Manila is to gush over his capacity for the latter; but honesty is tricky. Who knows if the artist is genuinely at home with a crowd he has just met or simply doing his job, producing a stellar imitation of the real thing (of connection and inclusivity). Alas, what I know is what I feel, and last night was pure celebration of being there, together.

Even he couldn't put his finger on it, ascribing all the fun to maybe the "big queer energy" in the room.

Troye Sivan The Bloom Tour – Manila leg (1 May 2019, Mall of Asia Arena)

When Dance To This came out in 2018, I was sold on the opening slur. Then in the second verse got thrown off by Ariana Grande's powerful vocals, her soft delivery notwithstanding. It was for me a disruption from the track's insouciant groove. Most of Troye's music have that quality of restraint — incongruous perhaps to the liberal spirit that animates his brand, but a sure testament to his artistry. He doesn't go for killer hooks or flashy production; rather, he banks on rhythm you can loop for days on end plus simple, singsong melodies that match his light baritone. The voice, because clear, becomes louder. Anyone can sing along.

That's why I bought a ticket. To get my fill of communal singing. And dancing. Though without me noticing it, he may have taught me to listen to slow songs again. This I realized during the show's excursion into sad ballads.

Reliving the event, my friends and I have found the same things — the pop star's mighty sashay, our Baddest Bitch ON switch. I am thoroughly charmed. Seeing Troye Sivan live for the first time is one of those first-times I can only wish to repeat.

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