Lizzo Asked Us To Worship Her, So We Did
The brisk weather of an October night did not stop hundreds of people from crowding onto the Pentacrest to worship Lizzo — a goddess of body positivity and self-love. Her backup dancers cover her with pink feathers as she comes onstage. When they remove the feathers, Lizzo appears, clad in a fuzzy leopard print coat, radiating confidence. In the past, Lizzo has been criticized as being too self-centered.
To this she responded, “Bitch, if I’m not full of myself, who am I supposed to be full of?”
Lizzo performed for the University of Iowa’s annual Homecoming concert this year on Friday, October 19. The show added to the list of impressive performances produced by the University of Iowa student organization SCOPE Productions, including last year’s Homecoming concert with Saint Motel and a Portugal the Man concert last February.
LAV.ISH, a hip hop group consisting of students from Iowa State and The University of Iowa, opened the show. The group’s performance fell flat, seeming amateurish considering the magnitude of the event. Perhaps used to performing in small crowded venues rather than onstage with professional sound equipment, the vocalists yelled more than they sang or rapped, their sound harsh and dissonant. Still the group was high energy as they danced on stage, some of the crowd dancing with them.
Anticipation grew and so did the crowd after LAV.ISH’s set, the audience erupting in cheers as the first notes of “Worship” played. Lizzo did not hold anything back, strutting around, twerking, and belting the lyrics to her popular songs.
She quickly followed with “Phone”, a song about losing your phone after a night of clubbing. Although it does not have the same feminist self-love themes of some of her other hits, “Phone” is funny, catchy, and relatable, and most of the crowd sang along and danced.
Before performing “‘Scuse Me”, a song featured on the show Broad City, Lizzo asked the audience if they liked her outfit. When the audience cheered in response, she said, “I like yours too, it’s cute. Y’all look like you’re feeling yourself.”
After the song, Lizzo encouraged the audience to join in her self-love. “Y’all didn’t just come here to get a free peep show of my ass cheeks,” she said. She asked the audience to join her in repeating a mantra, telling them to look in the mirror every morning and say, “I love you, you are beautiful, and you can do anything.”
She then told a story about a UI professor who asked her to be quieter during a sound check earlier that day because students were trying to study. The audience laughed at her story and a back-up dancer handed her a flute and she played a long, trilling note. “Suck my dick,” she belted, referring to the professor. She continued playing the flute expertly, backed up by beats from her DJ. She paused after another note and said, “Bitch you emotional,” and went right back to killing it on the flute.
Lizzo continued performing her hit songs, including “Truth Hurts” a song about ‘blocking fuck boys’ and “Water Me” an energetic song about sexuality. She ended the performance with her most popular song, “Good As Hell” and as she sang “I’ve got a bottle of tequila I’ve been saving for you,” she was handed an actual bottle of tequila and took several big gulps out of it, causing the audience to roar in excitement.
Endlessly entertaining, Lizzo’s performance felt like a party from start to finish, a perfect way to kick off Homecoming for students and alumni in Iowa City. Inspired by other hip hop queens of our generation including Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Cardi B, Lizzo is carving out a place for herself among the greats with her empowering feminist music.