It’s ‘About Damn Time’ that Lizzo took over Music City

Lizzo’s positivity was displayed not only by her lyrics but also by her character and audience engagement during her Bridgestone arena performance.

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Barrie Barto

Lizzo performs at Bridgestone Arena, as photographed on Oct. 23, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

Chloe Pryor

Lizzo’s new tour, “Special,” named after her latest album, was highly anticipated, as Bridgestone Arena was packed with Lizzo fans on Oct. 23. From the start of the show, Lizzo and her team created the perfect atmosphere for a self-love affair for audience members of all races, body types and genders. 

When the lights went off just before Lizzo took the stage, the crowd exploded with screams and chants calling Lizzo’s name. Lizzo rose up from the stage, wearing a bright pink rhinestone outfit and a smile on her face. She opened with the song “The Sign,” the first track from her newest album. 

Lizzo is well known for her message of body positivity, and on stage, this was no different. The first question Lizzo asked the audience was, “Can you share something that made you feel good about yourself recently?” The question encouraged the crowd to see themselves with love instead of focusing on their imperfections. As “Rumors” began, texts featuring gossip about Lizzo began pinging on the large screen behind her, a unique way to visually portray the song’s meaning. Messages included, “Lizzo is dating Chris Evans” and “Lizzo don’t actually be eating.” The screen also projected a videotaped cameo of Cardi B rapping her part of the song on the main screen. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Lizzo concert without some great lighting and outfit changes. Her second outfit of the night seemed like a plain dress, but when the light shined on it, a galaxy of colors were screened onto the dress. At one point, small stars appeared on the dress with the words “My Body, My Choice” appearing on the front. It was an eccentric and memorable way to make a statement on a controversial subject. That was not the only political reference of the night. Concertgoers could visit the voting registration booths open in the arena, and Lizzo took a moment to acknowledge that everyone should take time to vote and make a change. It was a classy way to present the topic of voting and make sure people were informed of their rights.

Lizzo brought a change of pace to “Break Up Twice,” which she performed at the center of the smaller stage without her signature bright lights or dancing, just her strong vocal presence. She joked about the struggles of dating Geminis, and in the song, she makes a joking dig at the infamous astrological sign. Lizzo’s DJ, Sophia Eris, was exceptional as well and had great vocals throughout the show. Lizzo’s “Big Gurl” dance crew commanded the stage,accompanied by an all-female band who nailed their small solo moments.

During “Birthday Girl,” Lizzo asked the crowd if it was anyone’s birthday. She found a woman, invited her onstage, and sang “Happy Birthday” to her with the crowd. Throughout the concert, she complimented outfits and signs from people standing both in the very front and in the nosebleeds, making sure that everyone knew she could see and acknowledge them. At one point, she gave a microphone to a girl in the front, who asked Lizzo to FaceTime her friend who could not make the show. Lizzo took the phone and turned so her face and the crowd were on the screen. The friend didn’t answer the call (which will definitely haunt her later), but Lizzo wasn’t fazed and took a picture for her to have later. During “If You Love Me,” Lizzo’s Big Gurl dancers handed her roses which she handed out to members of the front row. 

My most anticipated moment of the concert was when “Sasha Flute” made its debut. Sasha Flute, the name Lizzo gave to her instrument, is known to make impromptu appearances at Lizzo’s concerts. She even filed a case to trademark the name in September 2022. I rushed to record this monumental moment like everyone else. Lizzo played her flute four times, and seeing her dance and perfectly play the flute at the same time was a magical moment. 

Whether she said it in a song, told the audience directly or displayed it on a promo on the screen, Lizzo used her concert as an avenue to encourage body positivity and self-love. With an energetic, vibrant, and confident presence, Lizzo proved that her album and tour were named “Special” for a reason.