Local Current Blog

On tour with Sleater-Kinney, Lizzo wows national press

Lizzo during her performance opening for Sleater-Kinney at First Avenue on Feb. 14. Photo by Steven Cohen for MPR.

Minnesota music fans were excited when Lizzo was selected to open for Sleater-Kinney on what’s become one of the most talked-about tours this year. Across the country, this is the first time many music writers are seeing Lizzo perform live. So far, she has impressed just about everyone.

Reviewing Sleater-Kinney’s New York show for SPIN, Rebecca Weinberger said, “Opener Lizzo, an indie hip-hop artist, had an incredible, unabashed high energy […] I had never heard of her before and could have watched her for hours.”

Writing about the same show in the New York Post, Hardeep Phull: “Opening the show was rising star Lizzo, a 26-year-old rapper/singer from Minneapolis who wins attention with her shock of curly blond hair but keeps it with her stage presence and charisma. Musically indebted to acts such as Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Lizzo’s old-school spirit was an instant hit during ‘Batches and Cookies,’ during which she ingratiated herself to the crowd further by handing out some chocolate chip goodness from a basket. Beats and baked goods: a winning combination in anyone’s book.”

Julian Ramirez of Gapers Block wrote, “Lizzo takes pride in every aspect of her identity, whether it’s being a feminist, humanist, or her brown skin. A lot of her songs place a strong emphasis on cultural commentary, something she made a point of especially in her final song that reached near spiritual affirmation of her being. There is no backing down when it comes to Lizzo as she finds an understanding and balance through her songs.”

Piet Levy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted, “The Minneapolis-based MC has filled a void with swagger-studded verses and solid, soulful vocals, and her super charismatic 45-minute opening set Sunday almost threatened to overshadow the highly anticipated headliner.”

Other music writers have noted her energetic stage presence. The Boston Globe called her “exuberant” and Express Milwaukee described her as a “Minneapolis firebrand.”

See photos, and read Hannah Hron’s review, of Lizzo’s performance opening for Sleater-Kinney at First Avenue on Feb. 14—and below, enter for a chance to win Sleater-Kinney’s entire back catalog on vinyl.

Brenda Tran is a student at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities.