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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

I am proud to say that I’ve been an Olivia Rodrigo fan since her Disney days, and after not getting tickets to her debut tour, attending GUTS was a literal (teenage) dream. To honor the end of her U.S. leg of the GUTS World Tour, here’s the breakdown of my experience at Olivia’s first night in Chicago!


First things first, let’s talk preparation! If I’m being honest, quite a bit went into concert prep. Tickets went on sale back in September, a few weeks following the initial album release. Concert tickets — especially for top artists — have become an especially hot commodity. I had my entire family register for verified fan and only one account was chosen! On the day of the sale, I kept my afternoon free to ensure that I could reserve tickets the second the Chicago queue opened. After that, I let the anticipation begin! 

The Venue

All of Olivia’s Chicago shows were played at the United Center on the west side of the city. We got there around 6 p.m., which was about when the doors opened. Admittedly, I wouldn’t have minded arriving even earlier to have more time to take pictures with the Olivia landmarks around the venue — as well as to interact with the GUTS-themed tour bus Olivia’s team had set up. Luckily, the queue wasn’t awful, and they had lots of United Center ushers helping direct everyone to their seats. Naturally, the merch lines were the most harrowing part of the process. The main floor line for the fully stocked merch stand was at least a two-hour wait, while the smaller merch stands scattered around the venue were still at least a 45-minute commitment. I’d recommend choosing the merch you want online beforehand, so you can determine whether or not you actually need to wait in the “main” merch line. I was able to skip it, grab merch elsewhere, snack, take pictures, and make it in time for the opener! 

The Crowd 

Something that shocked me about attending GUTS World Tour was the population in attendance. Most of the audience seemed to be in high school, even though the album focuses on lived experiences within the limbo of feeling like both a teenager and an adult from 19-20. GUTS hones in on Olivia’s search for her identity outside of being the “angsty 16-year-old girl” and emotional Disney kid in the public eye. While the sheer extent of the younger audience she attracts was initially surprising, it could just be a testament to her reputation as the “voice of Gen Z.” Age aside, audience members showed up and showed out with their outfit choices! I enjoyed seeing everyone mimic Olivia’s style or rock her signature purple. There were even a few niche outfits celebrating her opener Chappell Roan, referencing song lyrics, and even someone dressed as the SOUR album cover!

The Concert

We’ve officially made it to the GUTS show rundown. The night started with opener Chappell Roan, who was absolutely incredible. Chappell was one of the best live vocalists I’ve heard so far. Her range is insane, and her stamina is so admirable. She had an extremely active set that she delivered with ease. Chappell really leaned into the vintage cheerleader aesthetic of her performance with high kicks, bouncing around the stage, and even a choreographed dance routine she taught the crowd. I was familiar with some of Chappell’s music before GUTS, but now I’m dying to explore her discography and watch her headline a solo show.  

After warming up with Chappell, the crowd was ready for Olivia — and she delivered. The setlist was perfectly curated and created a strong balance between her higher-energy songs and seated piano ballads. The GUTS set also featured several callbacks to SOUR, which I totally loved. I will say that I’m curious to see how long she’ll feel obligated to perform iconic tracks like “driver’s license” and “deja vu,” since I doubt she’ll perform this much of SOUR for future shows. All of Olivia’s tour outfits killed (especially her red “obsessed” bodysuit), and she did a great job disguising quick changes through instrumentalist solos and captivating choreography from her dancers. 


Olivia is truly an angel! She had an infectious energy and did a wonderful job interacting with the crowd. She came down from the stage several times to say hi, and she even accepted flowers from fans after the concert. The moments when she chit-chatted with the crowd were extra special, and she gave a particularly moving speech about growing up before she played “teenage dream.” My favorite part of the show was when she turned the lights down and asked the crowd to scream with her during “all american bitch.” The moment was so epic, incredibly healing, and a truly spiritual cleanse for the crowd (many of whom had already shed some tears during the show). Sonically, I loved all of the key changes and idiosyncrasies she added to every track for the tour. One of my favorites in that department was “pretty isn’t pretty.” I also loved watching her play a myriad of instruments throughout her show. The entire set was a testament to her strength as an artist, showcasing just how much she’s grown as a performer since her last tour!

GUTS deluxe announcement

Apparently, Olivia Rodrigo loves Chicago. We got super lucky — during the closing number of the show (“get him back!”) she announced the GUTS deluxe release! The deluxe album has been out for exactly a month, and it is absolutely incredible. GUTS (spilled) features 5 brand new songs — including Olivia’s very first love song, “so american!” My personal favorite from the deluxe album is “scared of my guitar,” but I honestly love “stranger” as well. The deluxe release also features “obsessed,” which is the only deluxe track on the official setlist! Hopefully, the feminine rage and iconic electric guitar solo that characterized the “obsessed” section were alluding to a future Olivia Rodrigo rock album! If you haven’t listened to GUTS (spilled) yet, you are in for a treat!


Overall, the GUTS world tour was a 10/10 experience! Looking back, I’d probably arrive even earlier for a future Olivia concert, and I would be willing to spend a little extra to snag even closer seats. I can’t wait to see what Olivia does next and to watch her grow as a lyricist and as a performer. All in all, hearing GUTS live was totally a “teenage dream.”

Kayln Jackson

Northwestern '26

Kayln is a sophomore at Northwestern studying political science on the pre-law track. She enjoys writing about fashion and the entertainment industry. When she’s not writing for HC, you can probably find her playing her ukulele, planning her dream vacation, or spending way too much time on Pinterest.