Rex Orange County Concert Review


On Friday the 13th, Alex O’Connor, otherwise known as Rex Orange County, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Mann Center for Performing Arts. Known for his hit songs like “Loving is Easy” and “Corduroy Dreams,” Rex Orange County is a well-known artist for his indie music style and chill vibe. Although the weather was extremely humid and cloudy, this show did not disappoint. 

We departed directly from school to the concert, as we wanted the best possible view of the stage, considering the concert was completely general admission. We took a quick detour to HipCityVeg right next to the high school, picked up a few sandwiches, and were on our way. By the time we got there, which was about 4:20 pm, around one hundred people were camping out in front of the entrance, and a line was just forming around the entry gates. The gates were set to open at 6:30 pm and the show itself started at 8:00 pm, so a lengthy wait was in our foreseeable future. Finally, the clock struck 6:30 and the doors opened. An intense push to get through security overtook the crowd. Once we got inside, the chaos had not subsided. With no assigned seating, the simple rule was first come first served. The quicker you got to the stage the closer you were to Rex Orange County. After racing to the stage with hundreds of others, we finally reached the crowd and still had an hour and a half until the show would start. 

With around 4,000 people in attendance, the place was packed to the brim. The weather was already blazing hot from the humidity of the rain earlier, but the crowd jam made it much less endurable. While we waited for Rex, William felt lightheaded, so he journeyed out of the crowd to get some fresh air,venturing through the concession stands purchasing merchandise, Rita’s water ice, and pizza. He bought a shirt that showcased every city on Rex Orange County’s tour. The price of the shirt cost $42 not including tax, which is relatively well priced compared to the merchandise at some other concerts like Olivia Rodrigo. While $42 is never cheap for a T-shirt, the item was worth its exclusivity and the memories that came along. After buying merchandise, William stayed near the back of the crowd with his food and drink. The back of the venue was much less chaotic than the front, and some people were sitting down blankets on the grass for the show. While the view was not as clear, the area felt tranquil. Unlike most other concerts, there was no opening act, which made the wait feel even longer. 

Finally, after four long hours of waiting, the crowd started cheering, signaling that the show was about to begin. When Rex Orange County walked onto the stage, the crowd’s energy exploded. He opened with “Making Time,” a song from his most recent album “Who Cares,” which focuses on promoting positivity and self-love. Following came a few of the biggest hits from his new album, “Amazing” and “Keep It Up”, which were also the first two released. Unfortunately, he did not play Sofie’s two favorite songs off the album, aka “Shoot Me Down” and “Worth it,” but he did play Sofie’s next favorite, “One in a Million.” Everyone was screaming the words out, and Alex even threw out rings and a towel. We, unfortunately, did not catch one.

Another one of the highlights of the concert included when Rex started performing songs from his older albums including “Pony,” “Apricot Princess,” and “Bcos U Will Never B Free.” It was refreshing taking a step back from the most recent album to listen to some throwbacks. The first of these older songs started with “Television/So Far So Good” which got everyone jumping to the flashing lights. This song was one of William’s favorites, with its energetic beat that made it irresistible to dance. The tempo shifted from fast and energetic to slower and calmer a few times, so whenever the upbeat chorus came around, the crowd would get more and more pumped up. By the end of the song, the tempo slowed down and brought the crowd back down from cloud nine. Needless to say, this song was the moment. Next, Rex Orange County played “10/10” from his album “Pony.” While the song was very entertaining, it did not stack up to “Television / So Far So Good.” The beat and overall energy were still lively, but much more monotonous and did not include the changes in pace mentioned in the prior piece. 

Rex Orange County made a momentary return to his recent album with the songs “7AM” and “The Shade.” Both songs are very relaxing, so the audience relaxed but still bounced up and down a bit. These served as a nice palette cleanser for the middle of the show. It was not long, however, before he shifted back, playing an array of his older songs including “4 Seasons,” “Untitled,” and “Happiness” from his album “Apricot Princess.” 

While this was not one of Sofie’s favorite song of Rex’s, her favorite crowd moment occurred when Alex O’Connor played one of his biggest singles, “Loving is Easy.” The tour crew threw out ginormous beach balls, which were tossed around the crowd.We very upset I did not get one, but it was the highlight of the concert for many in the crowd. As everyone eased back down, Alex finished with the iconic song of the album, “Who Cares.” By then, the sky was pitch black, signaling the concert ending. The crowd joined in unison, singing the words one last time before Rex left, a truly bittersweet moment.  

Wait, did you really think it ended there? Like most concerts, Alex returned no later than two minutes after the music cut short to play everyone’s all-time favorite Rex Orange County song, “Pluto Projector”, in a memorable encore. Finally, we sadly said goodbye to a concert that outdid our expectations. The Mann Center had a great vibe, with really amazing food (including dumplings, pizza, water ice, etc.) and decorations. While general admission is always tough at concerts, the crowd felt enthusiastic and energetic. Alex is a great performer, always talking to the crowd, handing out water bottles, or hyping up the crowd. If we had to give this concert a rating, it would for sure be a 10/10 (if you get the pun).