Olivia O’Brien celebrates debut album at sold-out El Rey

Olivia O'Brien El Rey 2019 mainbar

19-year-old Los Angeles-based singer Olivia O’Brien closed out 18-city tour last week, all culminating in the release of her debut full-length album Was It Even Real? The album dropped via Island Records last week and it serves as the pop singer’s coming-out party. She celebrated with a sold-out gig at the El Rey Theatre.

I first caught Olivia O’Brien early in the day at Outside Lands 2018 and was immediately hooked. She has a soulful voice and an absurd amount of swag. Her performance Wednesday at the El Rey saw a neon sign of her album name behind her, and a live band backing her up.

She’s passed 1.5 billion streams and is still two birthdays from being old enough to enter a bar. The crowd seemed to know most of the words like the back of their hands and rocked back and forth to the grooves and felt every hook.

For having just one album to her name, O’Brien played a pretty lengthy set. It included a Hannah Montana cover that went over well with her crowd. Favorites of the night included “Fuck Feelings”, “Hate U Love U” (her collaboration with gnash that helped put her on the map), and “Just a Boy”. I really enjoyed “UDK” the most out of everything.

Check out Justin Higuchi’s awesome photos from the show below, and stream Was It Even Real? now. If you’re a fan of Donna Missal or Sasha Sloan, this should be in your wheelhouse.

Photos by Justin Higuchi