Lizzo - Wow!
Seeing Lizzo perform for the first time this afternoon at The
New Orleans Heritage Jazz Festival was an amazing experience for me! There were so many different aspects of the
80 minute set that meant a lot to me!
Lizzo’s music itself was and is moving and both deep and at times humorous
and light. While some of her songs
sounded faintly familiar, I don’t know her music.
The music and the entire show was significantly choreographed
and was quite complex. Lizzo showed her excellence as a flautist on
multiple occasions. She had eight young female performers who had
various bodily movements, sometimes appearing to be dancing, but also other
movements. They weren’t thin, and they
were mostly quite agile. Some of them
sang, and those that did were quite good.
The band was tight and quite good.
Lizzo is much, much more than her songs. While some have a clear political message,
with significant empowerment of women, often Black Women, there also is a
lightness to some of the music. Her
message is empowering to both girls and women.
The clear vision that Black Women and Girls don’t need to be thin, and can
be sexual and strong is significant.
Plenty of quite varied ages of girls and young women, both
BIPOC and white, clearly love Lizzo and her music deeply. She can be sassy, can point her rear end at
the audience without shame, and do much more, and her audience loves her for
it. Men and boys also appreciate Lizzo,
though many of them seem more to enjoy her, rather than adore her.
Lizzo’s political side is very significant! She brought in her political beliefs quite
clearly and deeply - intertwined within varied parts of her show. A Gay/Lesbian/Trans flag draped around her
body, speaking out against various oppression including racism, sexism, and various
phobia is explicit, whether stated directly, or subtly.
I was expecting a good show. I got much more than I expected. Moneywise - it was a clear “bargain”! There aren’t that many such dynamic performers, who are excellent musicians - and so visible.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF LIZZO - TODAY AND BEYOND
Before Lizzo performed,
I talked with a middle-aged white man in front of me - from the area. What I learned from him follows. He
grew up and knew some of the Nevilles and they were great guys. He told me how it’s too bad how many
incredible people have died over the past few years including Dr. John,
multiple Nevilles, and Fats Domino.
New Orleans is different
from everywhere else. We all get a
long! He pointed to a man on the other
side of me and he and the man told me that he’d grown up in the only white
family in the neighborhood, and they got along well.
After our pleasant
conversation for at least 15-20 minutes, the tone shifted. In Chicago things are out-of-control. Those people who are poor have no respect
for anyone else. Chicago just elected a
Black mayor and it was because the Black People would only vote for a Black
Man. In New Orleans it is the same.
I tried to nuance things
a little, but it was a lost cause. I
told him I needed to get back to my seat and went back. After Lizzo played, he came to me and said
how nice it was to meet me. He could
clearly see that B - my partner is Black.
When Lizzo performed, he
seemed to have varied reactions from seeming disinterest to an unclear level of
interest and/or amusement.
THE LESSON IS CLEAR - THOUGH CHALLENGING
My white, male neighbor
was clueless at how offensive he was to me!
I didn’t ask who he votes for, but he’s clearly no ally of mine!
Lizzo is speaking to men
like this, though her issues are far more diverse than he may be able to see.
My issue, isn’t simply
with white men like this man!
My issue is with us “good
guys” - who oppose him. How many of us:
1. “Vote the right way” (and implied in this is that they are
doing the right thing).
2. Try - but “it’s hopeless, so I don’t push ahead”.
3. “I’m not political.
I avoid the news”.
The Germans weren’t political. White people, most particularly men - those
without the wealth strongly supported slavery, because it was “the right thing
It’s time - for we white
men - to care about - the people Lizzo supports - and who she really is. It’s time it goes beyond cheering at a
concert. Will we reach out - and
support “the others” in meaningful ways?
I don’t know - but I
think it’s Most Important - that we try and keep on trying as long as our
health holds up. We need to listen and really
hear! We need to be allies! We need to work with each other.
The times are a changin
- and we need to embrace the change and see how it helps us all!