When Lizzo appeared in a gold choir robe at the pulpit of her love-branded church, a reverent hush fell over the 5000-strong crowd… jks! Everyone went fucking wild. “I’ve never heard anything like it,” said my friend, who alongside Beyonce and Obama, is a long-time Lizzo fan.
2019 has been the year of Lizzo. Fuelled by Netflix’s break-up comedy Someone Great (for which it was the title track) Truth Hurts, spent seven weeks at number one in the US, and made us all “100% that bitch”.
Last night was the first of the UK leg of the Detroit singer’s Cuz I Love You Too tour and the crowd was primed. There were girls with healthy hair drinking white wine out of plastic pint glasses, “gay boys and big girls” (who got a lot of love from the singer – “where my thicc bitches at”, she asked at one point, before following up with, “for one night everyone in this place is a thicc bitch”), many groups in full Lizzo regalia (leotards, capes, sequins, glitter etc) and the odd straight, white bearded man trying to bop in a respectful, not-taking-too-much-space kind of way.
“Let’s go get this love fest,” she beamed into the mic as she stepped down from the pulpit and threw off the robe to reveal a gold, Wonder Woman-style bodysuit. Instead of a lasso she used her streaming hair to whip the crowd into a frenzy of self-love and positivity. From a hymnal rendition of Cuz I Love You, she launched into Scuse Me, imploring the crowd to sing that uplifting central refrain (“scuse me while I feel myself”) to themselves. Because, y’know, #selflove.
Between the bangers (Water Me came next), she paused to chat to the partying crowd, “How many of y’all are here in the name of self care?” she asked, mopping her brow – 4,000 plastic pints of white wine charged into the air. “I feel like I can tell y’all anything…. The person I wrote the whole album about hit me up recently,” she said; boos ensued. “He contacted me after 365 days…you know who else contacted me? His side bitch! So you know what I did? Delete, delete, delete!” After telling us all that “fuckbois don’t love themselves” enough to love anyone else, she launched into a bold, gospel-tinged rendition of Jerome. And though she finished off the slow section of the night with a rousing call to let go of the bullshit from the 2010s, the crowd were so enthralled by Lizzo herself that there was a sense of disappointment when she picked up the tempo again.
Nevertheless, she closed the show with a Truth Hurts then Juice in a pair of gold flares which read “100% THAT BITCH”, and as the crowd filed out afterwards there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t beaming from Lizzo’s good vibes.