Considering how busy she’s been in the interim, it’s no wonder Lizzo hasn’t changed up her live set much from when she last played in town.
Wednesday’s first of two sold-out concerts at the Armory in downtown Minneapolis – where she performs again Friday after bouncing over to Madison in between – followed a very similar song order and stage production as her Palace Theatre gig back in early May. “Worship,” “Cuz I Love You” and “Scuse Me” were lined up at the top of the 85-minute show. “Good as Hell” and “Juice” livened things up even further near the end, although she did bump back “Truth Hurts” to later in the set this time. Even her funny nod to Lake Minnetonka’s purifying waters was a holdover from last time.
The ex-Minneapolitan hip-hop megastar had new outfits to show off at least, including sparkly pants with “Good as Hell” emblazoned across the front. She busted those out along with the song of the same name near show’s end.
She also had new, stronger messages between songs, bringing her themes of self-love and body positivity even more to the fore. One of her best lines also preceded “Good as Hell,” when she said, “I used to go to concerts and left wanting to be the artist. Not tonight. I want you to leave here wanting to be yourself.”
The sharpest change on Wednesday really was the raised fervor around the show, recounted in our news story off the show for Thursday’s print frontpage. There was an electricity in and around the Armory that far out-buzzed even the Super Bowl LII events that opened the refurbished historic venue almost two years ago.
The audience participation this time around also made a very big difference in the set. At the show in May, Lizzo’s album “Cuz I Love You” was only a couple weeks old. On Wednesday, even the album’s deeper cuts such as “Exactly How I Feel” and “Lingerie” found fans singing along almost word-for-word – which actually came in handy, since at times Lizzo sounded a tad worn out and raspy; she probably appreciated the breathing room. Of course, that too seemed forgivable given her chaotic schedule of late.
One more unique trait in Wednesday’s concert: Lizzo got political. She made one overt nod to President Donald Trump’s rally scheduled Thursday at Target Center, and she said a few more seemingly related comments.
“Scream so loud they’ll hear you at the Trump rally tomorrow,” she yelled to fans at one point, after raising the idea of running for president herself in “Like a Girl.” She also later urged her diverse and largely young audience to register to vote.
“The country looks way different that the people running the country,” she added, with the massive crowd looking back at her putting an exclamation on her point. We'll see what the political climate is like next time she blows through town, but we know Lizzo herself ain't going away for a long time.