Olivia Rodrigo’s documentary takes us on a California road trip. See where she goes
Did you get déjà vu while watching Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driving Home 2 U”?
If so, you’ve probably visited at least one of the places where the music documentary was shot. Early in the concert film, which documents the making of the Rodrigo’s debut studio album, “Sour,” the teen pop sensation explains why she chose to shoot the project at various locations in Utah, Arizona and California.
“So much of the album was written between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, and so I thought it would be fun to do a road trip one last time,” Rodrigo says at the top of the film, which premiered Friday on Disney+.
“I want to play the songs in these places that meant so much to me and revisit them with older eyes.”
A documentary about teen pop sensation Olivia Rodrigo’s rise from Disney actor to Grammy-nominated musician is coming soon to Disney+.
The child actor-turned-Grammy-nominated musician — who grew up in Temecula — has divided her time in recent years between the Golden State and Utah, where her Disney+ show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” is filmed.
Before the record-shattering release of her first single, “Drivers License,” Rodrigo was rumored to be in a relationship with her “High School Musical” co-star Joshua Bassett — which allegedly ended in the breakup Rodrigo describes vividly on “Sour.”
“This relationship was definitely the heartbreak that kept on giving,” the 19-year-old singer-songwriter says in the doc.
“I was in this situation where I had to see him. He was with someone else, which was devastating to me. It felt like my world was ending almost every day. Nobody understood how I was feeling or related to it. ... By writing songs about exactly how I felt, I was creating a friend for me.”
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In addition to interviews with Rodrigo and behind-the-scenes footage from studio sessions with her producer, Dan Nigro, the film also features innovative live performances of almost every “Sour” track, from “Good 4 U” to “Deja Vu.”
By performing the songs at a series of picturesque destinations across the American West, Rodrigo takes audiences on a mini-tour of her home state — from Malibu to the Mojave Desert. Here’s a guide to all the California stops on the “Driving Home 2 U” itinerary.
Red Rock Canyon State Park
One person’s hiking destination is another person’s concert venue. A dramatic orchestral rendition of Rodrigo’s pop-punk anthem “Good 4 U” (around the 38-minute mark in the doc) was shot at Red Rock Canyon State Park, located 120 miles north of L.A. and 25 miles northeast of Mojave on Highway 14.
If you thought, “God, I wish that I could do that,” while watching Rodrigo traipse through the scenic desert cliffs of the Sierra Nevada and El Paso mountain ranges, guess what? You can! Red Rock Canyon State Park is open to visitors daily from sunrise to sunset. For more information on hiking, camping and biking opportunities, visit the California Department of Parks and Recreation website.
Roy’s Motel and Café
For an intimate performance of the heartbreak ballad “Traitor” (around the 50-minute mark) Rodrigo pulls into the rustic gas station outside Roy’s Motel and Café, located in the Mojave Desert on Route 66.
The historic Amboy landmark has served as a reliable rest area for weary travelers since the late 1930s and for a time was thе “оnlу ѕtор tо fіnd gаѕ, a hоt dіѕh аnd a bеd” in the vicinity, according to the Amboy website.
Mojave Air & Space Port
God, it’s brutal out in the Mojave Desert — which might be why Rodrigo chose to shoot her heavy-metal performance of “Brutal” (around the 61-minute mark) in an airplane boneyard at the Mojave Air & Space Port.
An abandoned aircraft overgrown with vines and weeds provides the perfect dystopian setting for an angsty music video about overwhelming insecurity, anxiety and the inability to parallel park.
La Jolla Beach, near Malibu
Toward the very end of the documentary, Rodrigo embarks on a car ride to Malibu. — but not for the song you might expect.
The concert film closes, appropriately, with a strings-heavy arrangement of the album’s empathetic coda, “Hope Ur OK” (around the 66-minute mark), filmed at sunset on La Jolla Beach, just up the coast from Malibu’s city limits.
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