If you asked anyone on the street two years ago who Lizzo was, there’s a 90% chance you would just receive a blank stare back.
Now, there isn’t a student at Creighton who hasn’t heard a line or two of “Truth Hurts.” Lizzo has been one of the fastest rising stars that the music industry has seen in a long time. A singer, rapper and flautist, Lizzo has been turning heads in the past two years since the rise of her most popular single in 2017, “Truth Hurts.”
Lizzo has been releasing hits, performed at Coachella and most recently headlined the Maha Music Festival at Stinson Park in Omaha. Her 2017 hit may even be eligible for a 2019 Grammy.
I’ve been a fan of Lizzo for a while now. Her single, “Good as Hell,” has been on nearly every one of my playlists since I heard it for the first time freshmen year. Her music is largely focused on empowering people of all genders, races and identities. She is an outspoken activist in both her personal life and within her music.
Between her social media presence and incredible voice, Lizzo has managed to become a radio favorite. However, I was worried if her online personality and radio voice would live up to my standards. So, did her live performance live up to the hype?
She is, without a doubt, the best performer I’ve ever seen live… and trust me, I’ve seen quite a few. From beginning to end, she was dancing, belting, laughing and interacting with the audience. Her backup dancers, The Big Grrrls, are a group of all plus-size dancers. She was inclusive, engaging and could sing even better than I imagined.
While most of her songs are upbeat, bass-centered rap and pop, my personal favorite of the night was her ballad Jerome. Toward the middle of the concert, Lizzo pulled up a chair, took a seat and began belting the hauntingly elegant song about a breakup. And no, it wasn’t your typical pop breakup song. I think I could have heard a pin drop. She didn’t hold back and gave a heart-wrenching solo in the midst of the twerking, popping and fun.
But it wasn’t just the vocals that secured Lizzo as a top performer, it’s who she is as a person that takes the cake. Toward the end of the concert, Lizzo slowed down the wild, enthusiastic applause and asked for a “real moment” and for the audience to “connect.” She instructed the audience to take a few deep breaths and to pull in all the energy and love that had been cultivated that night. She asked for everyone to hold onto this moment and use it when the audience is struggling with loving themselves, depression, or sadness.
It sounds cheesy, and maybe it is, but the entire concert was authentically Lizzo. Lizzo’s entire brand is focused on empowerment, love and acceptance. She constantly advocates on LGBTQIA issues and encourages young women to achieve their dreams.
She was the best performer I’ve seen because she’s seen struggle and poverty, but has persevered and wants to help others to do the same.
That’s what sets a singer apart from a performer; the ability to inspire change amongst her audience. That’s what Lizzo and I hope she continues to do as her career grows.