Event Review Lizzo & Caroline Smith Take the Mainstage 9/26 & 9/27
By Becca Martin
Two women, best friends, one show…one helluva show! Lizzo and Caroline Smith have each had a banner year, both reaching new heights of skill and success. Friday night at First Avenue’s Mainroom in Minneapolis they showed off what they are made of.
Lizzo is so hot right now, her dynamic stage presence and warmth emanate from her in audible waves. Her message of loving herself as she is and encouraging other women to do the same is empowering. We are told that confidence is what makes a person attractive, yet secretly we obsess over flaws that no one else notices. Lizzo exudes confidence, she is beautiful in so many ways, transcending race and body type.
Caroline Smith has embraced her soulful R&B side to much acclaim and stylistically is in a commanding place. A young woman who has achieved a lot, in her latest album ‘Half About Being a Woman’ she explored what it means to accept the woman that you are and might one day be. In interviews Caroline has repeatedly spoken about female role models and her treasured female friendships. That was abundantly clear last night as she shared the stage with Lizzo, at one point they spoke candidly about how much they meant to one another, proclaiming mutual love: let’s make it official, i.e.: “carollizzo?’
The show itself was pleasing to the eye and the ear. There was slick choreography with perfectly placed gestures and pauses to the awe of the nearly capacity audience (Saturday’s show 9/27 is sold out). GRRRL PRTY, Caroline’s band, and Lazerbeak were all there to add even more talent to the already ambitious level. Lizzo who is a classically trained flautist even broke out her flute in a touching tribute to her late father. During Caroline’s infectious song ‘Magazine’ all of the female performers stormed the stage in their under things in a mock up of the song’s video. There were some truly adventurous moments that had the women in the audience giddy. Tickle Torture ascended onto the stage in gold lame’, from Hindi style headpiece to pants which he stripped out of displaying a sequined codpiece. Lizzo commanded him to get down and twerk like he had never twerked before, she even sat astride him and the crowd ate it up! Another pleaser was THAT song with the chorus of “you a fuckin’ asshole”, and one by one Caroline and Lizzo addressed it to the men onstage and invited them to take their leave. Some might find this misogynistic towards men, though culturally this has been all too familiar in the male dominated world of music. I cannot speak for them, but I think that the point albeit in a tongue in cheek manner is to empower women, and to show what it looks like from the other gender’s view.
After all, the proceeds from the two shows & sales from their joint single ‘Let ‘Em Say’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd4aLl6A_o4) go to the non-profit Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (www.wfmn.org) whose mission is to be a “vital force for gender equality.” Lately, the non-profit has been working on ending the sex trafficking of MN girls with the ‘MN Girls Are Not For Sale’ campaign. The evening was a perfect pairing of a great cause and great talent in the hopes to reach out to a vibrant part of the youth community through the universal language of music.
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