In case nobody told you today, Lizzo is special.
A few years back, my wife asked me to take her to Columbus to see Lizzo.
“Sure, Babe! Just one question: What the hell is a Lizzo?”
I wasn’t kidding. Due to my aversion to FM radio and lack of time spent following the latest musical trends, it’s safe to say that I don’t find new music; new music has to find me. Lizzo simply had not yet.
The Columbus show was long sold-out before we could snag tickets and resale was out of the budget. While packing venues doesn’t alone doesn’t make one great (ie; Nickleback and the insufferable Phil Collins), it does lend a little street cred to one’s prowess.
Lizzo made a Lizzo-like entrance to the stage. Loud! Proud! A true spectacle! Her first number, “The Sign,” is the lead track from her 2022 release, ‘Special.’
Hi, motherf*cker, did you miss me?“The Sign”
I’ve been home since 2020
I’ve been twerkin’ and making smoothies, it’s called healing
And I feel better since you seen me last
I been training, I can flex that ass
Those opening lyrics set the tone for the show. Clevelanders didn’t technically “miss” Lizzo, because she’s never performed in the C-L-E before. But make no mistake about it, there was lots of twerkin’ and ass flexin’ on this Friday night!
The songstress immediately endeared herself to locals by trying something Clevelanders love most: local eateries, displaying her love on TikTok for La Plaza’s vegan tacos.
There is supporting an album on tour and then there is SUPPORTING AN ALBUM. Lizzo played 10 of the tracks from ‘Special.’ For aging artists on the back nine, this is a nightmare for fans hoping to hear the classics. Four albums into her career and equally as strong as anything she has done previously, the ‘Special’ heavy set was a welcome treat.
Lizzo owns writing credits on all 12 of the album’s tracks, including four solo writes. She is more than just a pretty face!
The 27-song set continued with “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)” which were followed by several quick-bangers that kept the audience engaged with Lizzo’s high energy and minimal downtime.
Backed by her dance squad labeled Lizzo’s Big Grrrls (who have never once been confused with the former Barker’s Beauties from The Price is Right), the dancing, lighting, and multi-media presentation made this show every much a treat for the eyes as it is the ears.
It didn’t take long for Lizzo to play another song that made this writer cackle like a hen, “Tempo,” in which Lizzo complains, “Slow songs are for skinny h*es …. I’m a thick b*tch I need tempo.”
It can certainly be agreed upon by level-headed minds that body shaming of any type is unacceptable, but Lizzo’s poke at skinny girls here is more so picking on a Caucasian for their white privilege.
Two mid-show covers, “Doo Wop (That Thing)” by Lauryn Hill and Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” were executed flawlessly. It also gave those in attendance (all seven of them) that were not too familiar with the originals to get down for a hot minute.
Set closing “Good as Hell” featured Lizzo repeatedly singing “Tell me how you feel?” which was met with a chorus of “Good as hell!” from the FieldHouse faithful.
Aforementioned songs and one kickass flute solo from (unbeknownst to some) a classically trained flautist aside, this writer can single out three highlights from the evening:
- “Birthday Girl”
- “Truth Hurts”
While this reviewer usually hits the skip button on the “love yourself” songs, the genuineness of Lizzo and the single line “I’m so glad you’re still with us” make it a winner in my books. This one really tugs at the heartstrings.
I don’t think Lizzo could have escaped Cleveland without an encore. She returned for two more, closing the night with the fun dancey tune, “About Damn Time.” NOBODY was left in a seat and NOBODY was making an early exit.
It may be a bit out of focus and clichéd to refer to Lizzo as the anti-pop star. However, this body-positive, fun-having, self-love advocate, is a welcomed sight to the typical mold of gorgeous gals who seem to get younger and skinnier with each generation. There is nothing fake about her.
Tonight, Lizzo was special and she made everyone in attendance feel special, too.