A NIGHT WITH LIZZO IN AMSTERDAM
Feature photo courtesy of @lizzobeeating
We were all 100% that bitch
When Lizzo announced her ‘Cuz I Love You Too’ tour over the summer, it sent my friends into a frenzy, largely due to the fact that we had missed her ‘Cuz I Love You’ tour just a few months earlier (and her impromptu flute performance at Dam Square that I didn’t know I needed until I saw it on Instagram).
Like most, I was introduced to Lizzo’s music through her 2017 single, Truth Hurts, which gained popularity in early 2019 on Tik Tok and made its appearance on Netflix’s Someone Great. When she released her debut album, Cuz I Love You, I became infatuated with Lizzo. Her message of self-acceptance and self-love flows across through the album, with standout tracks like Lingerie, Juice, and Water Me becoming the soundtracks to our ‘hot girl summer’.
Like any November night in Amsterdam, the evening of the concert was cold and damp; no many how many layers you had on, you would’ve felt severely underdressed. Noting those circumstances, I opted for an obviously weather-appropriate sheer mesh top and flared leggings.
PHOTO CREDIT: WEN HSIAO
As foolish as I may seem, I was making the right call. I’ve had one too many experiences with AFAS Live: from the jam-packed 5 Seconds of Summer concert where I was trampled by 5’9 14-years-old Dutch girls; to the Aziz Ansari stand-up special where the bathrooms were suspiciously clean (by Amsterdam standards, anyways) because of the low turn-out (we were reseated from nosebleed to floor seats). What I’m trying to say is, this was not my first rodeo.
My friend Devin and I arrived at AFAS Live an hour after the doors had opened, not because we had a poor sense of punctuality, but because Lizzo was not due to come on until 9 pm. When we arrived, the venue was pretty empty: we even had time to get ourselves a little tipsy for the show. Sure enough, the venue was soon filled to the brim with waves of 6’ tall Dutch women in their early 20s, covered in glitter.
Crashing through the waves were people of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Here was a crowd that felt truly welcoming to all, and a space that was filled with a sense of belonging.
PHOTO CREDIT: WEN HSIAO
People were brought together by their love for Lizzo and the messages she carries. Throughout the wait and the opening act, it wasn’t the usual pushing and shoving you would experience at a concert, but rather small talks and gushing about your excitement with strangers you met 3 minutes ago.
15 minutes past 9, the anticipation was killing us. When the stage finally lit up and revealed the church backdrop, we knew we were in for a ride.
Throughout Lizzo’s set, she placed a strong emphasis on self-love and invited us all to take a moment to recognize our worth, affirming our confidence and encouraging us to throw away our doubts and worries. Vice versa, she made the sold-out arena calm her nerves down by telling us to tell her that we love her and that she’s beautiful.
With Lizzo classics like ‘Juice’ and ‘Worship’ and the chart-topping hits like ‘Good As Hell’ and ‘Truth Hurts’, the show was dynamic, engaging, and without a dull moment. The transitions between each song were seamless and felt like a cohesive story. Lizzo’s energy could be felt through the intimidatingly well-choreographed dance routines and her playful interactions with her dancers.
The performance was dotted with stunning outfit changes, each more blinding than the one before-- my favorite being this glistening beaded bodysuit that she wore for the majority of the first set.
During her second set, she switched into a pair of custom pants that were embroidered with the words “100%” across the leg in the front, and “that bitch” across the rear.
Lizzo’s stage presence was definitely felt by everyone in the venue; it managed to get everyone off their feet and dancing. Lizzo had our full attention throughout her 90-minute performance, and when the lights came back on afterward, we were still longing for more.
Lizzo is the Tinkerbell of rap music. Throughout the night, she was dazzling, sparkled, and loved the attention we showered her with. It was the pick-me-up we all needed on a Monday night, and she did not disappoint.
Her appeal and impact derive from beyond just really good music. Using the platform she has, Lizzo preaches to her audience the value of love and worth.
You can’t just tell people who struggle with self-love to love themselves and expect it to solve their problems. Lizzo is fully aware of this.
She delivers this message with an emphasis on putting yourself first, and not being afraid to cut out the ones who aren’t willing to put in the effort to meet you halfway. Her raw confessions in Jerome tell us to understand the balance between desire and necessarily making healthy decisions to protect our hearts.
Lizzo is brutally honest, a trait that may cause some to find her intimidating or irritating, but she is never afraid to stand up for herself and what she believes in.
Lizzo’s music came at a time where I felt very vulnerable with my relationships both romantically and platonically: I had so much love to give and never received felt it fully reciprocated. I didn’t want to hear sad songs to reaffirm those feelings, I wanted to hear songs like Truth Hurts and Soulmate that lifted me up from sulking and brought me to the realization that I deserved better.
Plus, I finally got to see Lizzo’s flute performance.