Holly Humberstone Sets the Stage for Olivia Rodrigo


Courtesy of Villanovan Photography/Chloe Miller

Holly Humberstone opened for Olivia Rodrigo at The Met on May 6th and 7th.

Chloe Miller, Co-Culture Editor

Singer Holly Humberstone is getting comfortable with Philadelphia.

Humberstone performed at The Met in Philadelphia on May 6th and 7th as the opening act for Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour tour. In March, Humberstone opened for Girl in Red at Union Transfer. 

Originally from England, Girl in Red’s 2022 tour was Humberstone’s first US tour. Recently, Humberstone performed at Coachella Festival in Indio, California and won a BRIT Rising Star Award.  

Holly’s in the midst of a breakout moment right now, with a BRIT Rising Star award to her name, an upcoming performance at Coachella, supporting tours with both Olivia and Girl in Red this spring and two phenomenal EPs under her belt,” Holly’s PR team, said. “She just returned with “London Is Lonely” the other week, her first new music since the release of her acclaimed sophomore EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin last fall.”

Humberstone’s performance at The Met was the perfect lead-in to Rodrigo’s main show. She performed nine songs including her recent release “London is Lonely.” During the show, Humberstone switched between playing the guitar, keyboard and DJing. 

Going solo, Humberstone performed with no band. The stage was simple, with a large black banner advertising Humberstone. Once the show started, it was anything but simple. The set used varying light shows, some of which Humberstone handled herself, and it all felt uniquely personal. 

Prior to playing her song “Deep End, Humberstone explained the significance of the message. 

“This is the first song I ever released, so it’s special to play for you guys,” Humberstone said.

“Deep End” was written for Humberstone’s sister who was going through a hard time. A self-proclaimed “awkward gal,” Humberstone found it best to write a song to express her feelings. 

Humberstone also got personal with her song “London is Lonely.” The song is about Humberstone’s transition from living in the countryside with her cats to her move to London, where she lived in a spare room with loads of strangers. 

“Big cities for me are the most terrifying thing,” Humberstone said. “It can feel really isolating and lonely… I’m sure Philly is lovely, but London is terrifying.” 

Her personal stories were mixed with stellar performances. Although Humberstone played an instrument during every song, her voice never slipped. 

Despite most of the audience not knowing Humberstone’s setlist, she was able to connect with the audience on a personal level and draw them into her music. 

Preceding Olivia Rodrigo is no easy task. Rodrigo’s pop-punk and bedroom-pop style found a great match in Humberstone, making Humberstone extremely palatable to the audience. 

Humberstone’s personality, control of the stage, and extraordinary voice were the highlights of her performance opening for Rodrigo. She handled the sold out crowd at The Met with expertise, despite this only being her second US tour. Not only did the audience warm up and enjoy Humberstone’s performance, Humberstone enjoyed it herself. She closed her set by thanking the crowd. 

“Thank you so much Philly,” Humberstone said. “That was really special.”