Feeling like I had a golden ticket, I was one of the lucky few that scored a ticket to Lizzo’s sold-out FOMO Festival Sideshow in Melbourne at The Forum Theatre on Wednesday the 8th of January 2020. Like many, the show was my first time witnessing Lizzo perform live. Needless to say, she did not disappoint.
Supported by her own DJ, Sophia Eris who happily helped hype up the crowd with her excellent choice in tunes and energetic personality, Lizzo finally graced the iconic Melbourne venue with her presence at 9pm and brought the house down from the get-go.
Big, bold, beautiful and unapologetic, Lizzo opened feeling “Good as Hell” to be united with the electric Melbourne crowd. With long curly hair and dressed in purple, pink, black (and also later orange) attire, Lizzo was accompanied by her DJ, her four dancers, equipped with only her microphone and infectious smile. Showcasing her mutant lungs and insanely impressive vocals early on with “Cuz I Love You”, Lizzo’s presence overflowed with positive vibes for the entirety of her performance, which spread through to even the darkest corners of the theatre.
Cheekily inserting Aretha Franklin’s “RESPECT” into her setlist and effortlessly encouraging the crowd to sing along to “Exactly How I Feel”, Lizzo’s music is all based on themes of female empowerment, inclusivity and loving yourself no matter what shape or size you are. This message is particularly evident in in her song “Soul Mate”, where Lizzo literally sings about being her own ‘soul-mate’ and preaches self-love.
Throwing back to her older song “Scuse Me” for the dedicated fans who have been around from the beginning, Lizzo also changed up the mood of the venue when she turned serious and somber to sing an emotional rendition of her ballad “Jerome”, losing herself in the moment to even get on her knees to display her heartache. Whether standing alone, fiercely dancing in unison with her four dancers or sharing the stage with them to sing “Gigolo Game/Like A Girl”, Lizzo always commanded stage with a mixture of sass and effortless class.
Despite being vocally impressive for every number, Lizzo was particularly surprised with the thunderous reception she received from the Melbourne audience for thriving on her performance of “Boys”, which she shared ‘never had this kind of reception back home in the States’.
Not only spreading messages of self-love and positivity, Lizzo shared with the crowd how earlier in the day she was spending her time volunteering with Foodbank Victoria’s Bushfire Relief. Conjuring a koala plushie out of air (initially obtained from her visit to a koala sanctuary), Lizzo continued to speak her thoughts on the Australian bushfires, admitting that thinking about how the animals were affected makes her want to cry.
Lizzo emotionally shared,“This isn’t just an Australian crisis, this is a global crisis. And I don’t know why most people don’t understand that, but I will not shut up about it until we all realise that this our planet and we all share it. This is our home that we all inhabit, and these animals, this wildlife, is just as important as we are.” The Melbourne audience’s reception to her speech was met with much agreement, applause and cheering. She also commended all the volunteers and charities that work tirelessly to assist and help those affected by the bushfires.
Closing the show on a high with hits “Juice” and “Truth Hurts”, although satisfied with Lizzo’s performance, I wanted more. She could easily sell-out an arena, and I would happily throw my money (yes, even literally) to see her again in her own headlining show in the hopefully not too distant future.
Advising that there would be collection buckets after the show to take on any donations to Foodbank Victoria’s Bushfire Relief, Lizzo admitted that she had always wanted to come to Australia, but initially feared that because of the bushfires, that she was coming to Australia at the ‘wrong time’. Not only has Lizzo come to Australia at the right time and is an excellent artist to witness live, but she is the epitome of the positive energy that Australia needs right now.
Lizzo is touring Australia as part of FOMO Festival. For more information and ticketing, visit:
To donate to Foodbank Victoria, visit:
Photography by Mackenzie Sweetnam, courtesy of BBE Touring.