SZA Brings the Energy to Her Intimate Performance in Houston

On October 14, singer-songwriter SZA announced a set of shows that will happen throughout November. She described the shows as “not being a tour,” but rather “intimate performances” she would play in a few cities. One of her stops was in Houston at Warehouse Live and I immediately got tickets, which was such a good decision. 

The concert quickly sold out as expected but it did not hit me how many people were going to be there until I was physically there. Wednesday was a very rainy day in Houston, but that did not stop audacious fans from waiting outside the venue for hours before the doors opened. 

I, unfortunately, did not get in line early, which causes me to miss one of the openers AKA SZA’s niece ImamiCarolyn. Right as I made it to the venue, second opener Doechii took the stage. I wasn’t familiar with her music but she absolutely killed it. There are two things that I believe a good opening act should do: 1) set the mood and energy for the audience and 2) get the audience yearning to hear and find out more about your music. Doechii succeeded at both and I am looking forward to seeing more from her in the future.

Doechii

After more waiting, SZA finally took the stage, starting out with singing her hit collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, “All The Stars.” She continued with her set playing songs from her debut album Ctrl, playing fan favorites such a “Drew Barrymore,” “Supermodel,” and “Normal Girl.” 

In between songs, she talked about how crazy it was for her to be there as it was her first live concert in 2 years due to the pandemic. SZA performed songs like “Love Galore” with Travis Scott making a quick appearance. The next song to be performed was “Doves In The Wind (feat. Kendrick Lamar).” Even though Kendrick Lamar did not make an appearance, it was a great performance.

SZA in concert

SZA then went on to perform a song that has yet to be released and has yet to have a name, it is usually referred to as the “Shirt Song” on TikTok. SZA actually leaked part of the song herself, stating that she was so excited about it and was not patient enough to wait for her upcoming album release for us to hear it. When she performed the song, she actually only did the first part of the song up to the part that has actually been leaked and known to the audience. The song instantly stopped, and we have yet to hear the full thing. 

She continued with testing the audiences on their TikTok trend knowledge, as the next song was a song she said she never performed live. She performed “Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)” by Doja Cat, and everyone in the venue had their phones up in the air taking video. The TikTok trend is the people flop their wrist during SZA’s verse, and when it got to the part live, everyone did the wrist flop right on beat.

SZA continued playing her discography with songs such as “Broken Clocks,” “Garden (Say It Like Dat),” and “The Weekend,” as well as newer releases such as “Hit Different” and “Good Days.”

She ended her set by stating how grateful she was for everyone in the audience. However, the audience stayed in its place and began chanting for an encore. The chanting went on for a longer time than expected, and a few people began to leave as it looked like she wasn’t coming back out. 

However, the band and SZA did come return to the stage! She asked the audience what song they wanted to hear, it was clear this was not a planned encore. Everyone in the audience was shouting different songs, but it everyone unanimously started to chant for “Prom.” SZA then had to ask the band if they knew the song, but they did not. Fortunately, they were able to figure out the song, and her amazing encore officially ended her set.

SZA in the music video for “Garden (Say It Like Dat)”

After the show, SZA sat in front of the stage and said she would sign as many autographs as she could before her marker ran out. I tried to get to the front of where SZA was, but I wasn’t able to make it because there were so many people squishing each other. Everyone was trying to get to the front, and it was impossible to move.

SZA is clearly a well respected artist, and you can tell by the excitement and enthusiasm from the audience last night. She absolutely killed her Houston performance, and everyone there, including myself, had the best time.

SZA in concert

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