after yet more exams, the only thing getting me through last week was seeing troye sivan and leland on sunday, and they certainly didn't disappoint.
i thought we'd made good time, arriving about fifteen minutes before the doors opened at seven, but we were faced with the longest queue i've ever seen at the apollo, stretching all the way around the back of the venue and down the street. even at the eventim apollo for harry styles the queue still moved faster, but thankfully we made it inside with only a few minutes until leland took to the stage.
it's not often that i'm as excited about the support as the main act, but i've had bops like mattress and middle of a heartbreak on repeat for the last few months, so i was overjoyed at the prospect of finally hearing them live.
seated just a few rows from the ceiling, we had a pretty good view, but it did mean that i felt incredibly self conscious belting out the words to leland's iconic set. he opened with unreleased track you too before launching into middle of a heartbreak and serving some moves worthy of a drag race lip sync battle. his cover of run away with me - very nearly as good as the original - followed, before he debuted a new song - written with allie x - titled another lover.
he said it would be released in three weeks so until then i'm replaying it in my head, especially the key change (!), which as i've been saying for years, has been sorely overlooked in modern pop music. retaining his signature 80s-inspired sound, the track had me near tears, but i managed to keep it together for the final song lights, which appears on the soundtrack for the netflix smash sierra burgess is a loser. i'd listened to it previously but didn't love any of the songs, so hearing this one live totally changed my mind and i've had it on repeat pretty much since we got back from the gig.
as the set came to an end, leland told us he'd be downstairs by the merch area to talk to people and - buoyed by the rosé i'd just consumed - i decided to push my social anxiety aside and find him. thankfully my mother accompanied me, but once we reached the bottom of the stairs there was a queue of fans waiting to speak to him, and with only a few minutes until troye was due to take to the stage, i didn't want to risk it. he was seated a few rows below us though, and it will never not be weird that i was watching the same show as one of my favourite artists.
back upstairs with another rosé to drown my sorrows, it wasn't long before the lights went out and troye appeared on stage, opening the show with seventeen, before launching into Mega Bops bloom and plum. once we'd had chance to catch our breath, he talked about his ~coming out~ experience, the precursor to heaven, a super emotional track that never fails to make me tear up, thought it could have been the wine. (definitely the wine.)
up next was fools, followed by two of my favourites, lucky strike and wild, which the crowd did in fact go wild for, though he cut it short to sing a snippet of the lauv-assisted i'm so tired. my bladder betrayed me at this point, so i took the opportunity to go the toilet while he played the slightly more subtle - but still excellent - postcard.
sitting - and later reclining - atop a precariously placed couch in a pair of beetlejuice-inspired trousers and cobalt blue boots, troye encouraged us to "get really sad" for the next few songs, which included the good side - rendered even more intense with the live band behind him - what a heavenly way to die, and bite, which the crowd couldn't get enough of.
next up was 1999, a personal highlight of mine as everyone in the room knew the words, and it never fails to fill me with joy when i'm surrounded by people who love pop music as much as i do. low-key bop dance to this and the blisteringly beautiful animal followed, before he disappeared to get ready for the encore.
the screams were deafening, and most definitely on par with the crowd at both harry styles shows i've been to, and they only got louder when he returned to perform youth - another highlight - and then The Main Event, the song i've waited a year to see - my my my! - which closed the show.
to say it was akin to a Religious Experience might be extreme, but as i've mentioned before, i'm a scorpio with leo rising, so under these circumstances being overly dramatic is perfectly justified. a slow synth build-up gave way to the opening lines, and i don't think i've ever screamed the lyrics to anything so loudly. it was all ticking along nicely when he suddenly launched into the throttle remix, taking the track to a whole new level. then suddenly it was over and he sashayed away, no doubt leaving everyone wanting more as we made our way into the cold night once again.
strutting about the stage in a see-through t-shirt, the star on stage seemed a world away from teenage troye nervously uploading his coming out video to youtube, but i could sense that his love of performing hasn't waned, and he was genuinely excited to be there, fulfilling his teenage dreams in a way i hope i can someday.
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