When I went: 7 November 2019
Location: The O2 Academy Brixton, London
Performers: Lizzo, DJ Sophia Eris
Special points: Positivity, costumes
Best bit: Jerome / Like A Girl / Juice
If I could change one thing: Better merch
This was my first visit to the O2 Academy Brixton and my first time seeing Lizzo live. I knew her biggest hits (Good As Hell, Juice, Like A Girl, Truth Hurts) but didn’t know many of the other songs, and didn’t have a clue about her jazz flute (Sasha Flute), which she broke out towards the end of the gig to great effect.
I also knew that she was known for her positivity and messages of body positivity and empowerment, and that she has a super-strong voice and some witty lyrics, but I didn’t anticipate how great a performer she would be. Hers was probably one of the most natural and immersive performances I’ve seen in a long time – she clearly loved every moment and so did the audience.
Her performance of Jerome, a song I didn’t really know beforehand, was exquisite and silky-smooth; Like A Girl was a massive hit with the audience shouting every word along with her, and Juice was a great choice for the encore.
I absolutely loved her costumes and her dancing. She started off with a silky cape over a bodysuit which was shed a couple of songs in, and later changed into the pictured ‘Good as Hell’ trousers (I wouldn’t mind a pair of those). She implored the audience to imagine that we were ‘thick bitches’ before breaking into Tempo (what a great song) and paid homage to her backing dancers The Big Grrrls.
Lizzo talked to the audience a lot, preaching positivity and making fun of her ex (the subject of Truth Hurts) and his ‘side bitch’ for contacting her on Halloween (“Block block block! Delete delete delete!”) She also acknowledged her change in status from niche rapper / artist to mainstream star, saying that she had been making this kind of music for years but felt like the world needs it now, which is why more people are now listening to it. It’s hard to say if she will continue to stay in the mainstream and move on to perform at bigger venues, but either way I will definitely be trying to get tickets again next time she is here.