By Genoa Barrow | OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer
Recording artist Lizzo brought her “Special” Tour to Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center on Sunday and it was, well … special.
Having been a big girl most of my life and having experienced all the vitriol that can come with other people’s perceptions of body size, it was amazing to see another full-figured Black woman command the attention of a nearly sold-out venue. I was there for it, as we say.
A highlight came when Lizzo performed her song, “Naked,” wearing a robe and translucent body suit. Through the wonders of lighting and technology, beautiful images were projected onto her body as she sang, “Welcome to my body, I know it’s nice to meet it … / I’m a big girl, can you take it? / Naked. / Beauty is a gift, but curses everyone that chase it. / I wish we could live without the body expectations.”
When the song was released, the vivacious singer took to TikTok in the nude to promote it, and the message of loving one’s self unconditionally. The song definitely fits into Lizzo’s overall theme of freedom and acceptance. As did others she blessed the local audience with, including “Special,” “Good as Hell,” “The Sign” and “Everybody’s Gay,” which she performed wrapped in a large pride flag. While she pleased with her pop-heavy lyrics, Lizzo shined most in showing off her ability to hit high notes in ballads like “Cuz I Love You.”
The performer, who grew up in Houston, was joined on stage by her Big Grrls dancers, who are featured in her Amazon Prime Video TV series. The dancers, dressed in hot pink tank tops and shorts, showed off high-energy moves throughout the night. It was beautifully reminiscent of that time in 2007 when Mo’Nique famously brought out plus-sized dancers as she performed Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” while hosting the BET Awards. A lot of twerking was involved this time around. Some would argue what booty shaking has to do with women’s empowerment, but it’s an “It’s my body and I’ll do with it what I want” type thing and I’m not mad at it. The all-female live band was equally impressive.
Female rapper Latto opened the show and definitely got the twerking memo. But “The Rap Game” winner also understood the empowerment assignment. Lyrics from her “Pu**y” song speaks to the hypocrisy of gender roles and double standards and addresses women’s reproductive rights.
“How you ain’t got a pu**y, but got opinions on pu**y? That’s pu**y. My ovaries ain’t for you to bully,” Latto rhymed.
The local audience showed both performers love. Both spent time interacting with fans, bringing them on stage to acknowledge birthdays and, in Lizzo’s case, posing for photos from the spotlight for concertgoers to share on social media. She fulfilled a fan’s request to autograph her breast and gushed over another who she spotted in the audience dressed head to toe in clothing from her Yitty clothing line. The admiration seemed to be mutual.
As her signature song, “Truth Hurts” says, she’s “100 percent that bit**.”