WATCH Olivia Rodrigo Perform Songs From ‘GUTS’ at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert
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Olivia Rodrigo’s return to NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series was an intimate showcase of her sophomore album GUTS. Stepping onto the stage without the confines of a pandemic, Rodrigo’s presence felt charged with newfound liberation and vulnerability, bringing forth an emotionally charged setlist that revealed layers of her personal growth and artistic evolution.
Olivia Rodrigo Bares Her GUTS Album at NPR’s Tiny Desk
Rodrigo opened her set with “Love Is Embarrassing,” a song born from a night spent cringing at past embarrassing moments. She delivered the upbeat breakup anthem while playing an acoustic guitar, backed by a full band including a drummer, bassist, and backing singers.
The singer then moved on to “Vampire,” the dark catchy lead single she wrote in just 20 to 30 minutes but spent months refining into a radiant pop production with her producer. Rodrigo tackled the song from behind a keyboard while her three backing vocalists echoed the biting chorus.
Sitting down with a lavender acoustic guitar, Rodrigo explained that the third song “Lacy” originated from a poetry assignment in her college songwriting course, marking the first time she had written lyrics first before adding melody. She called the experiment a favorite from her record before playing the jealous ballad solo, her evocative vocals and guitarwork shining without any accompaniment.
Rodrigo then closed out her emotional four-song set alone at the piano to perform “Making The Bed,” a ballad she wrote while reflecting on her own detrimental behaviors in past relationships. She gave an intimate rendition of the sobering tune, her hushed vocals and keys spotlighting the song’s themes of accountability and self-improvement.
Fans Say Olivia Rodrigo Has Improved From Her First Tiny Desk Concert
Nearly two years since her first Tiny Desk show, which was limited by COVID-19 regulations, an enthusiastic Rodrigo relished performing in NPR’s iconic intimate office. Based on the four GUTS songs she spotlights and fan reactions, her songwriting and vocals have only gotten stronger with time.
Rodrigo’s Tiny Desk performance was a musical showcase that also celebrated her growth as an artist. She was accompanied by a talented ensemble comprising drummer Hayley Brownell, bassist Moa Munoz, guitarist Daisy Spencer, and backing vocalists Ashley Morgan, Elizabeth Gaba, and Julia Gartha.
While best known for filling arenas with catchy, cathartic pop bangers, Rodrigo’s NPR Tiny Desk concert proved her stellar talents also translate to stripped-down settings. She selected GUTS cuts that balanced her band’s buoyant rock arrangements with her own vulnerabilities laid bare