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Lizzo, Sophia Eris

  • Wisconsin Union Theater 800 Langdon Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)
Photo by Jabari Jacobs.

Photo by Jabari Jacobs.

Lizzo will arrive at the Union Theater on the cusp of national stardom, after years of toiling in the greater Midwest hip-hop scene. Her rise to prominence is thoroughly well-deserved—one would be hard-pressed to name a rapper who stands for as much as Lizzo does while also managing to distill her messages into dazzling songs. Earlier tracks like "Ride" were sprawling, but thoroughly well-designed, amalgamations of rap, R&B and pop. As good a singer as she is a rapper, the Minneapolis native (and recent LA transplant) can switch between cadences at will, heightening the potency of her lyrics with a subtle shift in flow or a grandiose transition from spitting to belting. In her newer songs, like "Water Me," all of these elements are still there but the music feels little, well, watered down. (Granted, you can't say the same for her increasingly vocal, body-positive public persona.) Perhaps with a greater audience in mind, Lizzo has repurposed her old methods into a more radio-friendly format. There's still plenty of quality here, and enough brash spirit to make her stand out from the top-40 heap. Still, for longtime fans who celebrate her ascent, it's hard not to also mourn a little for what's left behind. —Henry Solotaroff-Webber

Earlier Event: September 23
Stop Making Sense (free)
Later Event: September 23
Metz, Dasher, FACS