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Watch Olivia Rodrigo take over the Glendale DMV for her latest concert

A woman playing guitar and singing into a microphone with her band and a DMV sign in the background.
Singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo performs for NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series.
(NPR)

For her NPR Tiny Desk concert, “Drivers License” hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo took us back to where it all began: the DMV.

On Tuesday, NPR released the latest installment in the home edition of its Tiny Desk concert series, starring the teen pop sensation, who filmed the intimate performance inside an empty Department of Motor Vehicles office in Glendale.

The California DMV shared NPR Music’s official video on Twitter on Tuesday morning and encouraged its followers to “Check out @oliviarodrigo’s performance ... showcasing our Glendale #CADMV office.”

After beginning her brief set with a moody, acoustic rendition of her pop-punk anthem “Good 4 U,” Rodrigo candidly acknowledged her drab surroundings — an obvious visual nod to her viral debut single about getting her driver’s license and coping with heartbreak.

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“I’m so honored to be here. I watch these all the time,” the 18-year-old artist said while sitting in front of signs that read “APPT LINE” and “TEST CORRECTIONS RESTRICTED AREA APPLICANTS ONLY.”

“Right now, we are in a real-life DMV, which definitely has some interesting vibes to it. But yeah, gonna sing a few songs for you guys here. Thanks for coming.”

(Warning: This video contains profanity.)

Up next was “Traitor” from the singer-songwriter’s debut studio album, “Sour,” which scored a Grammy nomination last month for album of the year. The emotional ballad is currently Rodrigo’s favorite “Sour” track, though her opinion “changes all the time,” she said.

“You betrayed me / And I know that you’ll never feel sorry / For the way I hurt, yeah,” the musician belted while strumming an acoustic guitar.

“You talked to her / When we were together / Loved you at your worst / But that didn’t matter / It took you two weeks / To go off and date her / Guess you didn’t cheat / But you’re still a traitor.”

Olivia Rodrigo’s swooning power ballad ‘Drivers License’ is the latest in a rich tradition of teenage melodrama in pop music, from the Shangri-Las to Taylor Swift.

After whisper-singing the final lyric — “God, I wish that you had thought this through / Before I went and fell in love with you” — Rodrigo took a quick break to introduce her Tiny Desk band, consisting of four women on guitar, bass and drums.

Then she delivered a stripped-down performance of “Drivers License,” the chart-topping juggernaut that put Rodrigo firmly on the musical map and recently landed Grammy nominations for both song and record of the year. The rising Gen Z superstar is nominated in seven categories, including best new artist.

President Joe Biden invited ‘Drivers License’ hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo to the White House to help encourage her fellow youths to get vaccinated against COVID.

“I got my driver’s license last week / Just like we always talked about,” Rodrigo sang from behind a keyboard positioned at the front desk of the DMV. “‘Cause you were so excited for me / To finally drive up to your house / But today I drove through the suburbs / Crying ’cause you weren’t around.”

Before launching into her final song, Rodrigo gave a shout-out to Daniel Nigro, the music producer with whom she collaborated closely on “Sour.” She described her summery sophomore single, “Deja Vu,” as a song exploring her “frustration about how relationships are all recycled.”

The Disney actor’s Tiny Desk debut arrived a day after she announced dates for her highly anticipated world tour, coming to Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre in late May. Tickets for Rodrigo’s Sour tour don’t go on sale until Friday, but fans can register early for the virtual queue via Ticketmaster.


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