Singer, rapper and flutist Lizzo brought her empowering mix of pop and hip-hop to a sold-out crowd at Rams Head Live on July 25. Lizzo is well on her way to superstardom, so tickets to the hotly anticipated show were gone in a matter of minutes when they went on sale in April.
Fresh off the summer festival circuit, she kicked off the evening with the title track from her major label debut (but her third album), “Cuz I Love You,” to boisterous applause and cheers. The night overflowed with her songs about maintaining a positive self-image and loving yourself, which she embodies at her concerts, in her lyrics and in talking to the crowd.
“I want us to all leave feeling better about ourselves, better about our lives, even just for a second,” she told the crowd. “I love you, you are beautiful and you can do anything.”
For an artist new to the mainstream, Lizzo already has amassed enough anthems for a greatest hits album, which the audience sang throughout the concert, from the playful refrain of “Phone” (“where the hell my phone?”) to “Soulmate” (“cause I’m my own soulmate, I know how to love me, I know that I’m always gonna hold me down”).
She perfectly balanced a humble, grateful appreciation for being on the stage and an endearing attitude of deserving to be there.
“There’s a big black girl on the charts now,” she told the crowd. “This bitch is on the charts and in your hearts.”
The show came to a close with Lizzo’s newest singles “Truth Hurts” and “Juice,” which finally brought Sasha — Lizzo named her flute Sasha, and, seriously, it has its own Instagram — out for a stellar solo, showcasing that … oh yeah … Lizzo is a classically trained musician.
It’s a rare that a rising star shines so brightly, but it’s fair to say Lizzo’s first show in Baltimore will probably be the most intimate for years to come as her fame grows and she inevitably plays larger and larger venues.
About THE BEAT: Marc Shapiro, a lifelong musician and concert-goer, writes about regional and national musicians, concerts, festivals and the music industry. More of his photos can be viewed on his Facebook page, and he can be reached at [email protected].