By Dhanika Pineda
I got a text last night at 8:44pm.
“Olivia Rodrigo [Early Access] at Capital One Arena in Washington on 7/20 is on sale Wednesday, September 20 at 3pm ET at [link.] Log in with [email protected] and use your unique nontransferable code: *”
I called my sister at 9:30pm. “We won,” she screamed into the phone. But she wasn’t talking about tickets. The video was lagging and all I saw was a blur of white and blue.
It was 6:30pm at home in California, and the Hayward Twin Oaks women’s volleyball team had just won their second game.
“That’s great,” I remember saying “Did you see my text?”
It’s not that I wasn’t excited for her, but we had other things to discuss.
“YOU GOT THE PRESALE CODE?” she yelled. I asked her to scout the venue online and see what sections she might be interested in. Since we failed at getting tickets to Sour, I’m making it my mission to get tickets for Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album tour, Guts.
Dhaniela and I are Filipina Americans, first-generation siblings born of two loving immigrants from the Philippines. She’s about four years younger than me. There’s a camcorder video of us at seven and three singing and dancing to Miley Cyrus’ You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home.
I remember trying to wear a blonde wig that Halloween and thinking it didn’t look right on my brown skin. As Olivia Rodrigo said in V Magazine, “It was always like, ‘Pop star,’ that’s a White girl.”
Rodrigo has changed that mindset for me, Dhaniela, and millions of other young Asian American women.
Following the success of her debut album, Sour, in 2021, Rodrigo released her sophomore album, Guts, on Sept. 8 of this year. According to Billboard, Guts earned the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Since the album’s release, Rodrigo has accomplished feat after feat, from performing two songs from the album at the 2023 Video Music Awards to becoming the first Filipina American to star on the cover of Vogue. Her success means more than just
catchy lyrics and teenage dreams, she is an inspiration for Filipina Americans who have not so often been able to see themselves in that spotlight.
Twenty minutes until the ticket presale begins and my palms are as sweaty as ever. The first concert I ever went to was The Wiggles, but the first one I really remember was Miley Cyrus. I remember we had four tickets in different sections of the venue, so my dad and sister sat separately from my mom and me. My mom tells me that Miley rode in over our heads on a motorcycle, and sometimes my memories of that night still feel like a fever dream.
Little kids have idols, Miley was one of mine, they have people they look up to, people they want to become. I looked up to Miley but I never thought I could become her. I clung to the images that even remotely resembled me. Tinker Bell was another idol of mine, but she was White and blonde and I could never be her.
But maybe one of her friends, who had dark hair and smaller eyes like me. When I was little, in a flock of Tinker Bells I wanted to be Silvermist.
When my mom bought those tickets for the Wiggles and Miley, I wondered how different the queuing must have been. I think I remember an uncle who sold her physical tickets. Even if she had bought them online, I know she didn’t have to jump through the hoops of presale codes and Verified Fan sales just to get a chance at possibly picking up a ticket. Last November, the issues
with online ticket purchasing models became hyper apparent with the chaos on Ticketmaster over tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour.
In December of 2021, tickets for Rodrigo’s Sour Tour quickly sold out as well, and many fans, including myself, who missed out on her inaugural tour, are eager to see her this time around. With any luck, and a whole lot of anxious waiting, we’ll be successful.
I’ve joined the virtual queue and have my access code ready to go. The Sour earrings my sister made for me two years ago are laying next to my laptop like a lucky charm, and now all of my focus goes into securing these tickets.
After the longest 15 minutes of my life, and an additional ten of excitedly jumping up and down, I am proud to say I have succeeded. I’m the proud owner of two tickets to Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts Tour, and I couldn’t be more excited to see her perform, even if I may or may not have purchased the affordable obstructed view option.
Rodrigo is 20 years old, only one year younger than me, and she was 18 when she released her first album. My sister, Dhaniela, turns 18 this year. In Filipino culture, 18 is an important age for young women. Many women have a debut (pronounced deh-boo, not day-byoo) party to celebrate coming into womanhood, Dhaniela’s will be Tangled-themed. Rodrigo may not have had one such cultural celebration, but I find it fitting that she debuted her album and music career
At 20, her sophomore album “Guts” continues Rodrigo’s ongoing legacy of becoming an inspiration to young women, especially Filipina girls, everywhere, and I’m excited to see her bring that to life on stage.
Regular registered ticket sales begin tomorrow, Sept. 21, and I wish the best of luck to anyone else who plans to brave the Ticketmaster queue. May Olivia Rodrigo’s Fil-Am magic guide and protect you.
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