Not many artists can perform to a packed-house of over 20,000 fans, and even fewer can return to the same city and do it all again a mere seven months later. Lizzo isn’t most artists.
Following her triumphant October 2022 concert, Lizzo brought the second leg of her Special Tour back to the United Center in Chicago on Wednesday, May 17. From DJ Sophia Eris’ party-starting opening set to Latto’s hit-filled performance to Lizzo’s goose-bump inducing show, the entire night was an empowering celebration of love.
Before opening her set with “The Sign,” Lizzo kicked things off with a backstage message from the heart.
“These are songs about love whether it’s self-love, love for your family, love for your friends, or love for a significant other. I really believe that love for oneself and for others is what this world needs to be a better place,” she said.
Love was in the air all night long as fans sang along with songs like “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)” and “Soulmate” early in the evening before the mid-set response to “Special” inspired Lizzo to proclaim, “Chicago, you have my heart.” Elsewhere, one fan along the catwalk left with an unforgettable moment when Lizzo gave them a gift of “Birthday Girl” and “Happy Birthday” in the form of a touching serenade.
Lizzo is a singular talent, but the performance wouldn’t have been the same without her incredible band (The Lizzbians), dancers (The Big Grrrls), back-up singers (The Little Bigs), and DJ (Sophia Eris). The Big Grrrls demonstrated feats of athleticism rivaling those of the United Center’s regular residents – the Bulls and the Blackhawks – during “Phone / Grrrls,” which began with an impressive dance break, and the “Tempo” dance-off. The Little Bigs’ harmonies were on full display when paying homage to the music of Lauryn Hill and Chaka Khan while 19-year-old guitarist Jordan Waters conjured some Nile Rodgers-vibes, melting faces on “Boys” and “Everybody’s Gay.”
The dazzling spectacle of Lizzo’s stage show is well worth the price of admission and some of the most stunning moments of the night came in the more intimate segments of the show. During the part of the set she calls “therapy,” Lizzo draped herself across a chaise lounge and bared her soul with every pitch perfect note of “Jerome” as a prelude to “Break-Up Twice,” an absolute show-stopper that more than highlighted her vast vocal range.
When performing her Cardi B collaboration “Rumors,” a message popped up on the screen speculating that Lizzo is running for president. From the sounds of the deafening cheers bouncing across the walls of the United Center, this is one bit of gossip that should be true.
“Coldplay,” proceeded by a snippet of the namesake band’s “Yellow,” gave Lizzo a chance to break out Sasha Flute and “Truth Hurts” introduced the hit-heavy conclusion of the show.
Throughout the show, Lizzo shared joy as an act of resistance, preached body, soul, and mind positivity as a source of strength, and called for power to be returned to the people. When leaving the United Center, armored in happiness, it felt like anything is possible if we stand together and harness love to make this world a better place.