Lizzo / Sophia Eris Alexander Gastown, Vancouver BC, January 27

Lizzo / Sophia Eris Alexander Gastown, Vancouver BC, January 27
Photo: Sharon Steele
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Lizzo and her crew brought the "Coconut Oil Tour" to Vancouver last night (January 27), playing the city for the first time to a sold out and very enthusiastic crowd.
 
Opener Sophia Eris pumped up the crowd, DJing tracks by M.I.A. and the Notorious B.I.G. She danced while on the decks before taking to the front of the stage to perform from her debut self-titled album, released this past July. Coupling airy vocals with rapid fire, smart rapping, Eris reminded those familiar with her work with Lizzo that she was a strong performer on her own.
 
And then it was time for Lizzo to take the stage. Armed with two dancers — her "big girls" — she bounded onstage to an ecstatic audience. She was evidently humbled to have sold out her first Vancouver show, launching into high-energy numbers from Coconut Oil and 2015's Big Grrrl Small World. "Worship" was ecstatic, the crowd raising their hands to the sky in time with the lyrics. Lizzo exuded such positive energy and was constantly on, her dancers at her side while Eris ran the music, provided backup vocals and rapped. It was a whirlwind of song, dance and gratitude as Lizzo ran through "Phone" and the sass of latest single, "Scuse Me."
 
At one point, Lizzo reached out to the audience to speak about self-love and the current political climate, explaining that her song "Humanize" was about the need to recognize everyone as an individual, especially in a time of such hatred and division. She described how "Coconut Oil" is a track that her fans constantly tweet lyrics from, a salve, as she originally wrote it to reassure herself.
 
She spoke of Donald Trump as a representative of hatred, racism and climate change denial, and expressed her support for scientists marching in support of climate change research and participants in the recent global women's marches. Then, she introduced "My Skin" as a song meant to draw people from all walks of life together, to stand in the face of division. Emotions swelled as Lizzo and her all-female crew stood together onstage in solidarity.
 
Lizzo really created a sense of togetherness and joy in the room, getting the audience to sing along to the infectious pop of "Deep" and the empowering "En Love." "Batches & Cookies," from her debut album, Lizzobangers, was incredibly fun, as the crowd rapped along to its super fast refrain. At one point, an audience member joined Lizzo to dance onstage, the room erupting in cheers.
 
Deftly moving through tracks that showcased her powerhouse vocals, clever rapping and clear love for her work, Lizzo wowed Vancouver, bringing her message of self-love and togetherness to an audience that embraced her with open arms.