Troye Sivan at AO Arena, Manchester – a celebration of self-expression

One of the biggest and most freeing celebrations of queerness

The Manc Audio The Manc Audio - 23rd June 2024

In the seven years since Troye Sivan’s sexual awakening on 2018’s semi-explicit ‘Bloom’, the Australian has emerged as a sex-positive powerhouse.

He’s been soundtracking queer nightclubs across the globe with the dancefloor-ready earworm ‘Rush’ – the lead single from his third studio album ‘Something To Give Each Other’, itself a further step into self-embrace and expressionism and one that has seen Troye embark on a global tour endlessly spilling out online videos of brilliantly sexy and sultry dance routines and on-stage playfulness.

His Manchester outing at the AO Arena is no different, oozing with sensual choreography that wouldn’t be out of place on the Magic Mike Live stage, yet set to make those with a more reserved outlook blush.

But that’s largely the point here, the third step in a chronological journey that carefully treads from the self-questioning of ‘Heaven’ on his 2015 debut ‘Blue Neighbourhoods’ through to his unapologetic onstage gyrating, a symbol of his self-acceptance.

Anybody uncomfortable in tonight’s crowd is undoubtedly at the wrong show, an open celebration of all-round gayness and its culture.


It’s inherent in everything he says, informing the crowd that he made a b-line direct to Manchester’s iconic Canal Street the night before, and tantalisingly hinting that he may do the same after the show, before immodestly suggesting that this may cause some type of stampede.

Perhaps it’s the reason why the show both starts and ends unusually early, and why at just 17 songs, it’s one of the shorter headline sets an arena is used to.


It’s also telling that Troye doesn’t go further back than ‘Bloom’, with the title track, the anthemic ‘My My My!’ and the Ariana Grande-featuring ‘Dance To This’ just about making the cut.

The song choices are in-keeping with the mood of the evening, more mature and more adult than anything off his debut, or ‘Bloom’s retrospective numbers that failed to make the setlist.

Tonight is evidently an acknowledgement of lust, love and sex; a call to live in the moment and not to look back, and a hedonistic masterclass.


With that, each set piece is brilliantly positioned, the performance split into six acts each broken with Troye running off stage for an outfit change or for structures to be seamlessly assembled or disassembled.

Fan favourite ‘One Of Your Girls’ sees him don a lacey corset as he shares an intimate lap dance with one of his dancers, while the sultry ‘STUD’ glides like silk both in its vocal and on-stage performance.

But the biggest reaction is saved for the Charli XCX featuring (although sadly not on stage) ‘1999’, which rounds out the main set with a party befitting its lyrics, and gay anthem ‘Rush’ – complete with full dance routine and mesmerising light show to bring the decadent thrill ride to a close.

As Pride Month draws to a close, and with Salford’s Pink Picnic acting as the show’s pre-party for many, Troye Sivan delivers easily one of the biggest and most freeing celebrations of queerness Greater Manchester has to offer – via Perth, Australia, of course.

Read more

Featured image: Stuart Winecoff