Lizzo | photo by Lissa Alicia for WXPN
Lizzo raises her voice in song and on social issues at uplifting TLA set
A sermon. A therapy session. A protest. An evening of self-love. What do all of those things have in common? Lizzo offered all of that and more to her fans during her Saturday night performance at the TLA.
As fans, covered in glitter, sequins, and pastel wigs filtered into the South St. venue they were flanked by multiple signs stating that the Lizzo show was “100% sold out,” the sentiment mirroring Lizzo’s song “Truth Hurts” where she decrees that is “100% that bitch.” According to Lizzo, this was a far cry from her first show in Philly where only about 100 people who showed up.
The show started on time with an opening set from LA’s Tayla Parx, who has made a name for herself through writing songs for Ariana Grande, Janelle Monae, and more. In addition to original music, Parx performed a short medley of the top 40 songs she penned. Although Parx is the brainchild behind a handful of bubblegum pop hits, the singer-songwriter, who looked strikingly like Coraline with her blue bob and yellow ensemble, belted out some great music and flexed her vocal range.
After what seemed to be an eternity following Parx set, the lights dimmed, the music blared, and Lizzo graced the audience with her presence. The roar from the audience was deafening. The crowd maintained this energy throughout her set.
Speaking of energy, Lizzo was relentless with both her powerful vocal ability and dance moves. While some artists seem to have to do a lot to get out a note — bending, reaching for the sky, contouring their face — Lizzo didn’t seem to need to do that at all. There were multiple instances where Lizzo would just simply open her mouth, and it was as if raw talent and fire poured from her soul.
Between performing songs like “Boys” and “Truth Hurts,” Lizzo made it a point to address numerous social issues. When discussing abortion, Lizzo screamed, “If you can not find my clit, than you should not be making laws about it.” Lizzo also urged white cis men to not just be allies by supporting black women artists like her, but by actually doing the work and supporting marginalized people in their communities. Even more impactful may have been the self-love mantras that she had the audience chant — “I love myself”.
Although Lizzo has not been on the scene for long, she has cemented herself as one of the greatest voices and greatest performers of our generation. Anyone who gets to see her lives will better for it.