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[Review] Lizzo @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne 17/07/2023

Review By Terri Nas

I just took a DNA test turns out, I’m 100% THAT obsessed with Lizzo! 

Monday nights usually see me headed home after a long day at work to switch off and relax. But this week I ventured out to see the most brilliant and baddest bitch around, Lizzo! 

When I arrived, Rod Laver Arena was abuzz with glitter, sequins, and palpable excitement as far as the eye could see. 

Whilst we were all settling into position, we were treated to a fun and energetic set from Australian singer/rapper Tkay Maidza, who is supporting Lizzo on the Australian leg of her Special world tour. 

Once Tkay departed the stage, the countdown was on for the arrival of the lady of the hour. I could literally feel the electricity in the arena from the crowd pulsating through my veins and increasing by the minute. By the time the house lights went down, the place could’ve burst into flames with the hot anticipation radiating from the audience. 

It was then that Lizzo made her grand entrance centre stage in all her voluptuous glory, and opened her set with Cuz I Love You and her fun and bouncy hit Juice. We were pre-warned by the lady herself that she’d been on the coffee before the show, so now she was “hyper as shit”. Well the coffee worked, because her energy and stamina didn’t waiver once throughout her 90 minute set. 

By this stage, the audience were “‘bout to have a panic attack” wondering if they were ready 2 Be Loved. We then found our Soulmate and jumped on the Phone to the Grrrls. Lizzo then sung us through all the different types of Boys she likes, and then added a little Tempo. During the next song, Rumours were flying and we got to see a surprise on-screen cameo from Cardi B. Lizzo’s energy and vibrancy was completely contagious, and the whole crowd were beside themselves with excitement for the entirety of the show.

As Lizzo sung her hit Special, it was like being embraced in a big warm hug from your best friend. Between the lyrics and her delivery, the song really is a beautiful reminder that everyone is special and loved no matter what. During one particular moment, Lizzo was visibly emotional and slightly overwhelmed as she looked out into the sea of faces (and phones) and absorbed every ounce of love that was being directed her way. The next few songs led us to an excellent cover of Chaka Khan’s empowering female anthem (and a favourite of mine) I’m Every Woman.  

After Everybody’s Gay & Water Me, we were then treated to another cover, this time of Coldplay’s best-selling single, Yellow – with Lizzo declaring that they are one of her most favourite bands. 

It was then time for the famous Sasha Flute to make an appearance, and my little flautist heart skipped a beat listening to the dulcet tones being projected from the melodious woodwind instrument. (Yes, I was a Flute player. Yes, I went to band camp). I just love how an artist like Lizzo has incorporated her classical flute training into her music, giving her a different edge to most. Thank you Lizzo, for making us band nerds and the flute cool again! 

Sasha led us into the iconic hit Truth Hurts with some bad-ass trills which, due to some technical difficulties, was performed in darkness. Lizzo finished the song by hilariously asking “did we pay the light bill, bitch?” A temporary blackout didn’t stop the superstar from continuing the show like a true professional. Interacting with her fans to kill time until the lights were rectified, turned out to be a heart-warming moment in the show. The genuine and humble way in which she interacts with her fans is a clear indication that they are her priority. This is all for them. To prove this point, she did an encore performance again of Truth Hurts once the lights were back, because as she eloquently yelled out, “these people need to get their motherf**kin’ videos!” 

Lizzo has a literal glow that emanates from her, and as well as being beautiful and downright hilarious, you can tell everything she says comes straight from her soul and she believes every word she preaches. 

Her set was rounded out with I Love You Bitch, and the catchy and super motivating Good As Hell, which if you’re not ready to take on the world after listening to it, then you were listening to the wrong song. With the crowd on an absolute high we wanted more, and more is what we got. Lizzo came back for an encore with About Damn Time, and a final appearance from Sasha Flute before they both wished us goodnight. 

Despite being amazingly talented in many areas, Lizzo’s constant message of self-love and believing in yourself is also what makes her stand out from the rest and makes her so endearing. We need more genuine role models like her in this crazy world. No matter the mood you’re in when you enter a Lizzo gig, the only way you’re coming out of that show is on cloud 9 feeling buzzed and empowered. I’m still riding that Lizzo high and won’t be stopping anytime soon. If there’s one person you need to add to your Concert Bucket List, then Lizzo is it. 

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