Olivia Rodrigo live at Glastonbury 2022: a career and festival defining moment

Powerful and political, Rodrigo’s Glastonbury debut shows just how big her omnipresent tunes have become – and she even brings out Lily Allen

It feels fitting that Olivia Rodrigo‘s set is 6.45pm on The Other stage – a slot previously smashed by Billie Eilish in 2019. As we wrote in the review at the time – “if you missed Billie Eilish’s once-in-a-generation Glasto show, you fucked up big time”. It was the precursor to the now-superstar’s headline performance at Glastonbury 2022 on Friday (24 June), a gig that made her the festival’s youngest ever headliner. And while you could argue it’s too early to suggest Rodrigo could make the same leap to the Pyramid top spot, if you passed on her Saturday Glasto show, you’d missed out on a pretty compelling case for it.

For the past 18 months, Rodrigo has been on a rapid upward trajectory – her music becoming an omnipresent phenomenon. Starting with the global success of break-up anthem ‘Drivers License’ in early 2021, her pop-punk infused debut album ‘Sour’ spawned a host of further hits; and her Glastonbury performance demonstrates just how massive her slick tunes have become.

Opening with grunge belter ‘Brutal’, followed by a rocked-up version of ‘Jealousy, Jealousy’, by track three Rodrigo has already created a classic Glasto moment. As the opening lines to ‘Drivers License’ ring out over the fields, the thousands of punters join arm-in-arm, pints in hand as the sun beat down. By the time we reach one of the best bridges since the Golden Gate, and the crowd scream “Red lights, stop signs…But I still fucking love you, babe” back at her, more than a few of the audience are in tears. It feels like a defining moment, both for the 19-year-old artist and the festival.

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She uses her platform, too. Bringing out Lily Allen to perform Allen’s 2009 earworm ‘Fuck You’, Rodrigo dedicates the track to members of the supreme court responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade, later name-checking members “who have showed us that at the end of the day they truly don’t give a shit about freedom” as Allen encourages the audience to raise their middle fingers.

In between these moments, Rodrigo really works the stage. Standing on the disco-ball bedazzled piano during a cover of Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’, rocking out with her band during ‘Happier’ and revealing to the audience pre her mash-up of ‘Enough For You’ that she “wrote these songs in my bedroom feeling like I wasn’t good enough for the guy I was seeing – now I get to play them for the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen.”

By the time we reach her closing number – pop-punk firecracker ‘Good 4 U’ – the crowd are in a frenzy, with drinks thrown and arms raised. After ‘Drivers License’ Rodrigo surveyed the audience – perhaps a little overwhelmed – telling us “thank you Glastonbury, that was very special”. She’s not wrong.

Olivia Rodrigo played:

‘Brutal’
‘Jealousy, Jealousy’
‘Drivers License’
‘Complicated’ (Avril Lavigne cover)
‘Hope ur ok’
‘Enough For You / 1 Step Forward, 3 Steps Back’
‘Happier’
‘All I Want’
‘Favourite Crime’
‘Traitor’
‘Fuck You’ (Lily Allen cover with Lily Allen)
‘Déjà vu’
‘Good 4 U’

Check back at NME here for the latest news, reviews, interviews, photos and more from Glastonbury 2022.

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