Lizzo at Minneapolis’ Armory: Gets political and basks in sold-out adoration – City Pages

Posted: October 10, 2019 at 7:45 pm


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The one-time Minnesotan played her first of two sold-out shows at the Armory on Wednesday night. Shell be back on that stage Friday. In between, well endure a very different spectacle just a few blocks away.

Look, I dont want to talk about the guy either, but theres no avoiding the elephant in the Target Center. A president whose thuggish cruelty only endears him further to a fanbase powered by rancid white resentment is here to lie about our community. We can at least be grateful that this invasion will be bookended by a force for good celebrating her pop breakthrough moment.

At the Armory last night, groups of women enjoyed moving their bodies on their own terms, LGBTQ folks celebrated a spectrum of sexuality and gender, and a successful African-American woman onstage declared, both explicitly and in how she carried herself, that life offers pleasures of infinite variety and the complexity of your identity is an asset to be shared and cherished. We should give that America a try.

Lizzo first appeared last night in a pulpit elevated above the stage, the backdrop behind her depicting a church interior, complete with stained glass, and she began with two songs that fit the conceit: Heaven Help Me and Worship. Soon she yielded that perch to her DJ, Sophia Eris, and joined her dancers onstage, glamorously draped in a fringy gold outfit and holding the stage with innate charisma.

The crowd was particularly rapturous. Theres so much Lizzo in the air around here, and local coverage can verge on fawning, so its possible to get jaded, but this music inspires a vibe of real liberation in a room. During Cuz I Love You, women fell to their knees as they belted the over-the-top soul ballad to their pals, reveling in a kind of performative joy that was self-aware but not self-conscious.

In keeping with the church theme, Lizzo preached. Jerome was preceded with a disquisition on the fuckboy (though Lizzo, ever inclusive, reminded us that fuckgirls and fucktheys also lurk out there), as the singer celebrated her fuckboy-free status and contended that these sexually and romantically troublesome nuisances need to learn to love themselves.

Politics was an unavoidable topic. We live in an interesting world, Lizzo beganand if you doubt that at least some part of her is still Minnesotan, why else would she use our states most beloved euphemistic adjective like that? She continued in this generalized vein. A lot of people dont have good intentions. Im not gonna be more specificbut some of you know what I mean.

Still, as she shouted out Ilhan Omar and said the country looks a lot different than the people running things while urging black, brown, queer, and gender-non-conforming young people to get involved in politics, her sympathies were hardly hidden. Eventually she lowered the boom: Clap so hard they can hear it at the Trump rally.

Another extended speech introduced Good As Hell, to the backing of soft piano. Some concerts leave you wanting to be the star you just watched, Lizzo said, but she intended this to be different. Youre gonna leave this concert wanting to be yourself.

I dont know how that reads to you, but in the moment it was well, a moment. And thats the thing with Lizzo: She flirts with the sort of therapeutic self-help clichs that have kept womens magazines in business for decades. But whether tossing hydration into a list of buzzwords like self-care, self-love, and body positivity that we should embrace, or inviting each of us to consider ourselves thicc bitches for the nighteven the undeniably unthicc non-bitchesshe does it with a sexy good humor that yanks kernels of basic truth out of the commodified muck.

Lizzos rise to fame has seemed at times inevitable and at others so steady yet slow that you could never be sure she wouldnt stall somewhere along the way, stranding her at the status of a viral phenomenon with a handful of extremely well-licensed songs. But a lots changed since she was in the Twin Cities last May to play the Palace Theatre in St. Paul. The biggest development is that Truth Hurts has been number one for six weeks so far, smashing the record for longest time atop the charts by a solo female rapper. With that wobbly piano part that sounds like its being played by an animatronic otter in a saloon-themed novelty restaurant for children, and a swerving vocal suggesting just maybe Lizzos had a few, its an ideal set closer, perfect for swaying and singing along.

Lizzos beloved Sasha Flute made its appearance as she played an instrumental prelude to Juice, which honestly felt a mite anticlimactic. But we can hope its vibrant afterglow will help us endure whatever slander were forced to hear dribble out at the Sportpalast tonight. If hate is a virus, Lizzos concert was a vaccination. Lets hope that Friday night she can pull off an exorcism.

Check out our full photo gallery from last night's show here

SetlistHeaven Help MeWorshipCuz I Love YouExactly How I FeelScuse MeWater MeJeromeIt's My Party/CrybabyTempoBoysGigolo Game/Like a GirlSoulmateLingerieGood as HellTruth Hurts

EncoreJuice

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Lizzo at Minneapolis' Armory: Gets political and basks in sold-out adoration - City Pages

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October 10th, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Posted in Self-Help