Lizzo – Palladium, Cologne; November 13th, 2019
The first time I became aware of Lizzo was on my Twitter feed, when Jameela Jamil spoke about her. I had no clue who she was, didn’t even know she sang, but her name kept popping up as an unapologetic, positive voice for big girls and I liked her attitude. Then, some time later, people started talking about her awesome concerts, among them Grace Petrie. So when I accidentally stumbled across tour dates, I decided to buy a ticket. I had checked out her music and it wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it wouldn’t be the first time that a live show could make me appreciate music I would not usually listen to. I was right, the concert was all sorts of wonderful and I left it with a huge smile. “I know you’re smiling bitch, cause I can see you!” – hell yes I am and I’m pretty sure I will be for a few more days. 😀
In the morning, I was still in London and due to a delayed train, not even sure I was going to make it to the the concert. Luckily things worked out in my favor and I just made my flight, even managed to sleep a few hours before I had to leave home again. Surprisingly, the train to Cologne was on time too and around 5:30 I found myself outside Palladium, where the queue was not as long as I gad feared. One hour later we were inside and I found a nice spot upstairs with a side view of the stage. Would have been great to take pictures, but photography was not allowed and I did not want to risk getting caught with my camera.
Time passed and at 8 Sophia Eris, Lizzo’s DJ, did a warm up set for us. It made me feel really old, because everyone else was singing along and I had no idea what these songs were. The only one I recognized was a part of Whitney Houston’s ‘ I wanna dance with somebody’. She got us warmed up alright, people were already dancing and having a good time.
It took only moments to change the stage and get it ready for Lizzo, but she made us wait until 9 before she started the show. As soon as I saw “Lizzo” light up on the DJ table I forgot all about waiting and was excited for the Show. At first she came out all alone and immediately won me over with her great voice. When she called “Worship me” I was ready to do so and I am sure by the end of the night, everyone in the venue was. What a powerful, beautiful Woman! Downstairs on the floor everyone was moving and partying, singing along to the dongs. People around me did the same and while I danced too, I felt sorry I didn’t know any of her lyrics. In the end that didn’t matter much, because I had a total blast anyway. She just exuded so much positive energy it was contagious.
Soon, she brought out DJ Sophia Eris and her dancers, the big girls. They were wonderful and showed us how to move with jiggling asses and swinging hips. I loved watching them. So much about this show was a celebration of women. In Addition to that it was a celebration of love and happiness and of course music. I smiled and I danced and I felt great all evening. Apparently Lizzo did too. She told us she had not felt that good in a long time and really enjoyed being there. She had great energy and is such a good role model for (young) women. It was pure joy to see so many happy women dancing, singing and moving with the music. And quite a few men too. Only the, all male, security guards looked stoically at the crowd and seemed to wonder what the hell was happening. 😀
From the very start she had everyone under her command. When she told us to sing, we did and when she told us to keep the feeling alive and the smile on our faces, I am sure that everyone, like me, decided to give it their best shot. Her singing was great, she showed us some terrific moves and she looked glorious to boot.This is a woman who feels good inside her own skin and shows it to everyone. More power to her! We cheered her on and we worshipped her and when she asked us to remember this next time we met a big girl like her, I sure hope everyone will. There are so many misconceptions about big women and our society treats them so badly that it’s good to be reminded of one’s privilege (if you are skinny) and remember to be kind. Fat shaming is not cool and does not help anyone.
Lizzo spoke up and sang out whatever she felt like, unashamed and unapologetic and I instantly loved her for it. So many times I nodded and shouted out in agreement. If I#d had a glass I’d have raised it in a toast. Hell yeah! Here’s to being happy with who you are. When she announced that it was time for ‘Jerome’ to go, the whole audience seemed to agree and we sang along with her (or I tried the best I could). At some point she told us all to put on the lights on our mobile phones, looking to the people on the floor and on the balcony, talking to us, pointing at one guy and saying “You think I can’t see you, but I can see you”, telling him to get with the program and he did. It looked beautiful and lit up the whole venue.
We stomped and clapped along with the beat and the floor might have been shaking just a little. She asked for her girls – *scream!*, her boys – screams and her gay boys – more screams. Everyone was with her, right then and there and when she told us she loved us all, we believed her. She told us she’d been to London and Paris and nobody booed so she was impressed with us being so nice. Then, when she started about playing in other German cities we booed for that, letting her know Cologne was hotter than Berlin or Munich and she laughed “now we got some competition going”. Her and her dancers’ outfits were fabulous and they changed a few times too. At some point it was a sort of wedding outfit with a vail and each of them carried a bouquet, throwing it into the crowd.
Somewhere during the second half of the show, maybe before ‘Like a girl’, she spoke to all of us, saying “I love you! You are beautiful! And you can do anything!” Then she asked us to turn to the person next to us and tell them these words. we did and it felt true and real. After that she asked us to say it to her too and we screamed it out loud. “I love you! You are beautiful! And you can do anything!” – It felt great! everyone around me looked happy and she let us know that she could see us smiling. Absolutely.
Lizzo disappeared backstage briefly, while we watched the big girls dance, and came back out wearing black track pants that had “100%” written on her left leg in golden letters. When she turned we could see gold letters of “That Bitch” and when she asked “What does it say?” we read it out loudly. It was of course the start to ‘Truth Hurts’ – “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that bitch”. I cannot really explain how empowering all of this felt, but it did. It made me so happy and let me forget any of my troubles just watching her do her thing and seeing the love coming from the people around me, seeing them lost in the music with huge smiles on their faces. I did not want that night to end.
It had to though and as she disappeared again backstage before the encores, I moved downstairs for an easier getaway in the end. soon she was back for one last song, ‘Juice’ and she played a flute solo during it – wow, just wow. To great cheers she finally left and I felt blown off of my feet by the force of nature she is. What an incredible woman! What an incredible show! I will gladly come back and see her again another time and smiled all the way home. Thank you Lizzo, you are amazing!
Heaven Help Me
Worship / Respect (Aretha Franklin & Elton John cover)
Cuz I Love You
Exactly How I Feel
“It’s My Party” / Crybaby
“Gigolo” Game / Like a Girl
Good As Hell