While the opening acts bring about a sort of blemish to the show, Lizzo makes heading out to the Bowery Ballroom worth your time.
|Venue Address||New York, NY|
|Good If You Like||Eclectic R&B|
Dance Oriented Hip-Hop
|Opening Act||Sophia Eris|
|Opening Act||Drizzy Fe|
To be honest, I was a bit worried when it came to the Bowery Ballroom for people made the security team seem like a headache. In truth, they do have a bit of an attitude but it is the type of attitude you can kind of understand. Between dumb questions and dealing with idiots, plus standing around waiting for something to happen, it seems like an aggravating job. Probably pays the bills, but I’m sure many of us have the type of job which pays the bills but isn’t the least bit fulfilling.
With that said, you first head into a bar which is kind of tiny compared to Terminal 5’s, there is one downstairs and there was one on the upper level. I’m not sure if there was one on the main floor. With that said, I was kind of annoyed that when it was time for the doors to open there wasn’t an announcement and if you haven’t been to the venue before, no one told you where to go.
Though, once you get to the ballroom, it is ok. It is definitely made for smaller acts but one thing I loved, unlike Terminal 5 there was seating that wasn’t restricted to VIP. Which, if you aren’t fond of standing, especially after you walked from wherever to get to the venue, like I did to save some money, this is a blessing.
Opening Act #1: Drizzy Fe
I want to be kind when it comes to talking about her set, if only because I think she may still be at that point in her career she is trying to find her sound and voice. I say this because Drizzy Fe’s set is very much like what you hear from a lot of odd Black musicians. The bass is heavy, the beat rocks, but it drowns out the artist and keeps you from hearing what they are trying to say. To make matters worse, it seems Drizzy Fe is still in that phase of still playing with the tech and hasn’t honed onto where is a good place to let her feel her creative juices are flowing freely but not alienate the crowd.
I say that because, for most of the show, I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. She sort of has this FKA Twigs like sound where you have to really focus on her and ignore the music to know what she is saying. Then, to make matters worse, when she is just talking to the audience, she had her voice filtered to the point I couldn’t tell you what song she was going to sing, what her name was, and while the set had energy and dancing, it also was a low-key mess.
Opening Act #2: Sophia Eris
Again, I’m going to be nice. However, many of the same issues Drizzy had with her set spilled over to Sophia Eris. She wanted to promote her album which came out over the summer, the first self-promotion of the night I heard and understood, and while you could understand her more, again, her voice and lyrics were drowned by the music. Though, personally speaking, what I did hear and understand didn’t vibe with me much. However, I did like the way she DJ’d. Her working on the turntables (do DJs still have turntables?) was the only real warm up to Lizzo the whole night.
The Headliner: Lizzo
Let me just say, I wish my first concert was a Lizzo concert. This little big girl Michigan rocked the stage. She was dancing, albeit nothing fancy, just shaking her ass and doing moves you likely saw in music videos before, but the choreography was tight. Her backup dancers were ok, the white girl was doing too much, but Lizzo commanded the stage to the point where even her antics didn’t have an effect.
With that said, her set was everything and more. Of course there was a lot of party and dance tracks, many of which I have to look up, but there was also self-empowerment songs, one dedicated to the minorities of America called “My Skin” and honestly if you didn’t walk out that venue a Lizzo fan, then I don’t think she may ever win you over. For honestly, while the charge was $15 a ticket, I can foresee, within a few years, it jumping up exponentially. For while I would love to compare her to Missy Elliot, or even Nicki Minaj when her raps are playful and she is doing weird voices, Lizzo has made her own lane. Also, while Sophia Eris may not click well with me as a solo artist, paired with Lizzo you see this focus and connection which helps you understand how these two have been in two bands together.
So, while, as I think is standard, you may have to suffer through opening acts who are still discovering themselves and honing their sound, it is worth it in the end. For Lizzo truly, if appreciated, could become the next big thing. She has a message of self-empowerment, is “woke,” proud of her blackness and being a big girl, and has music which can aide in heartbreak, when you just wanna shake your ass, or when you need to remind yourself of how cute and worthy you are.
Things to Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- She is definitely an artist who is worth checking the catalog of. Way past the singles she has put out.
- I should note, the songs on her previous albums don’t compare to hearing them live at all. Like, I want a live album because the energy and vibe of hearing her live seems so contrained and watered down on the albums.
- I truly wish I was recording her message before she sung “My Skin” for it just contained so much heart and passion, urgh! It makes you wish venues like Bowery Ballroom would get into investing in recording technology for their shows. It would not only make them some money but be another avenue to promote these performers. Even if it is just a monthly master mix.
- Not sure how long it maybe up, but she did a Facebook Live performance which should still be available here.