Sza Scorches The Capital One Arena For Her Sold Out Washington, DC ‘SOS’ Tour Date

Hot off the trails of her chart topping album that’s been staying in constant rotation for many music heads, Grammy Award winning artist SZA wasted no time hitting the road to bring us the larger than life “SOS” Tour. And we’re not using that term loosely either. The last time that we saw SZA in concert was during the “CTRL” Tour at a venue that held roughly 1,500 people, but her stop in Washington, DC was at the Capital One Arena where the upwards capacity is 20,000 people and her production was over the top. No expense was spared on this production as there were 50-foot video walls, moving stage components, and an amazing lighting package to show that this young lady has certainly grown in her artistry.

The show kicked off with a brief video intro, then goes right into a teaser track “PSA” which she performed while recreating the album cover art live on stage, sitting atop a mammoth sized diving board with a screen behind her that projected a video of the ocean. The album cover was iconic enough alone, but her bringing it to life right before her fans eyes is so amazing, and something that I totally wasn’t expecting. As the song drew to a close, she appeared to throw the microphone into the water and dive in behind it, next appearing center stage with four backing dancers and digging into two of our favorite songs from the new album, “Seek & Destroy” and “Notice Me.”

As a certified concert junkie, there are certain things that I look more forward to in most shows, and that’s the ability to captivate and audience using all of the space and attributes around you, and SZA did just that. It was totally clear to see that during her time off and in the midst of her album writing process, she decided to think outside of the box, which translated in her music not having one cohesive sound and being a cornucopia of sounds and genres, but this was also the same for her stage show. There were some things that she experimented with musically and otherwise, such as the fact that she was dancing. Usually artists who aren’t billed as a “performer” shy away from choreography in a live concert, but SZA was getting down right along with her dancers. Aside from that, I loved the creativity behind carrying the theme of the album throughout, and the fact that each song had its own scenery.

Typically, it’s always been a joy for me to see an artist on a tour that supports either their first or second full length albums because you get to see and hear not only full length versions of the songs, but you’ll generally get a bulk of both albums in the setlist, and I’ll say that her setlist did not disappoint. We were gifted live iterations of the new new that all the fans wanted to hear, such as “Shirt,” “Forgiveless,” “SOS,” “Used,” and “Love Language” while not forgetting the songs that made her a household name “Love Galore,” “Broken Clocks,” “Drew Barrymore,” and “All The Stars.” My only gripe would be that she relegated fan favorite “Smoking on My Ex Pack” to a video interlude instead of performing it live, but I guess I can overlook that since she decided to cover one of my favorite Erykah Badu songs, “Bag Lady.”

During the middle of the concert, a lighthouse structure was erected literally out of nowhere in the back of the arena shining it’s light around, but taking focus off of what was about to happen. The next thing that I notice is a large orange inflatable life raft floating in the air while she wears an orange flowy dress, singing “Supermodel” and “Nobody Gets Me.” When she originally released her single for “Kill Bill“, you couldn’t help but to draw comparisons to the movie based on the context of the lyrics, so to see her recreate the scene from the movie where the Bride was fighting the Crazy 88, down to her swinging a mace around was pure genius!

A slick transition from “Bill” to “I Hate U” further cemented that she was deeply in tune with her music, with a quick follow up of “The Weekend” that was ushered out by a band break, that initially gave the idea that the concert was over. Nope…she wasn’t done yet as the last song of the night, “Good Days,” found her back where it all started, on the diving board. After it was all over and walking through the concourse of the venue, the general consensus that I got was that everyone who was leaving the concert was thoroughly impressed by the concert, especially her vocal growth. The tickets literally flew off of Ticketmaster’s website, and now we know exactly why.



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