Written By | Elizabeth Walker
As I walked to the entrance of Terminal West, I heard several fans singing in unison flanked by glitter under their eyes and highlighter on their cheeks. Another group of fans, so grateful and excited to be there, nervously clapped clasped their hands together with tears in their eyes. I heard one girl exclaim, “I just love her! This doesn’t seem real”. The crowd was younger, many under 18.
The two stars performing Thursday night got their start on the YouTube platform, which started in 2005. I am fascinated by mega stars who got their start on this platform, so I was eager to see Tessa & dodie’s performance.
Tessa Violet entered after what seemed like a long intermission. Hundreds of younger fans roared. Tessa’s orange-yellow hair glistened and changed colors with the lights. The melody was soft but strong. Her singles such as “Crush” and “Haze” especially had fans captivated. At one point, Tessa spoke to her fans about her personal experience with anxiety and encouraged fans by concluding with the statement, “Unique experience with pain helps those who are also suffering, so don’t think for a moment you aren’t worth it”. It became abundantly clear that Violet, 28, is more than a “YouTube star”. In addition, she is an individual who gives voice to people who feel like they don’t have one. I was especially impressed that the star even encouraged her fans turning 18 to register to vote at a booth set up at the show.
The next act, dodie, was welcomed by cheers and applause. Her fans, some that I had seen before at the beginning of the show, now waved rainbow flags. The emotion in the room was incredible. In the crowd with them, I watched as many openly weeped while gazing up at their idol. “She’s just so beautiful! Oh god, she’s perfect!” dodie, who is openly bisexual, clearly identifies heavily with the LGBT community. Dance, laughter, and intense emotions were the highlight of her performance. dodie is a complex force at only 23 years.
Atlanta welcomed both female singers with open arms. I enjoyed the performances and was captivated myself with the true connection these fans had that was more than surface-level admiration. Tessa Violet & dodie, thank you!