For her NPR Tiny Desk concert, “Drivers License” hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo brought us back to where it all began: the DMV.
On Tuesday, NPR released the final installment of the home edition of its Tiny Desk concert series, featuring the teenage pop sensation, who filmed the intimate show inside an empty office of the Department of Motor Vehicles in Glendale.
The California DMV shared the official NPR Music video on Twitter Tuesday morning and encouraged its followers to “Check out the performance of @oliviarodrigo … featuring our Glendale. #CADMV Office.”
After starting his brief set with a cranky acoustic rendition of his pop-punk anthem “Good 4 U”, Rodrigo frankly acknowledged his lackluster surroundings – an obvious visual nod to his first viral single on getting his driver’s license and grief management.
âI am so honored to be here. I watch them all the time, âsaid the 18-year-old artist as he sat in front of signs that readâ APPT LINE âandâ TEST CORRECTIONS RESERVE RESTRICTED ZONE CANDIDATES ONLY â.
âRight now we’re in a real DMV, which certainly has some interesting vibes. But yeah, I’m gonna sing a few songs for you guys here. Thanks for coming.”
(Disclaimer: This video contains profanity.)
Next, âTraitorâ from the singer-songwriter’s debut studio album, âSour,â which received a Grammy nomination last month for Album of the Year. Emotional Ballad is Rodrigo’s favorite “Sour” track currently, although his opinion “changes all the time,” she said.
“You betrayed me / And I know you’ll never feel sorry / For the way I hurt, yeah,” the musician shouted as he strummed an acoustic guitar.
“You talked to her / When we were together / Loved you at your worst / But it didn’t matter / It took you two weeks / To date her / Guess you didn’t cheat / But you’re still a traitor. “
After whispering the final lyrics – âGod, I wish you had thought about this / Before I fell in love with youâ – Rodrigo took a quick break to introduce his group Tiny Desk, made up of four women at guitar, bass and drums.
Then she delivered a stripped-down performance of “Drivers License”, the chart-topping juggernaut that put Rodrigo firmly on the music map and recently landed Grammy nominations for song and record of the year. The rising Gen Z superstar is nominated in seven categories, including Best New Artist.
âI got my driver’s license last week / As we’ve always talked about,â Rodrigo sang behind a keyboard placed at the DMV reception. “Because you were so excited for me / To finally drive home / But today I walked through the suburbs / Crying because you weren’t there.”
Before launching into her last song, Rodrigo thanked Daniel Nigro, the music producer with whom she collaborated closely on “Sour”. She described her second summer single, “Deja Vu”, as a song exploring her “frustration with how relationships are all recycled.”
The Disney actor’s Tiny Desk debut came a day after she announced the dates for her much-anticipated world tour, at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles in late May. Tickets for Rodrigo’s Sour tour won’t go on sale until Friday, but fans can register early for the virtual queue via Ticketmaster.