Lizzo at First Avenue

Photographer: Justin Sengly

Photographer: Justin Sengly

Melissa Jefferson, known as Lizzo, took First Avenue’s stage Feb. 6 in black booty shorts already growling through “Ain’t I,” the first track off her most recent record “Big Grrrl Small World.” She didn’t need to warm up, she was already at 100 percent.

The show had the entertainment value of, say, watching the Super Bowl halftime show or another over-stimulating, “can’t-look-away” performance. At any point during the night, the stage boomed with high-speed rapping, soul-crushingly soulful singing, groove-inspiring dancing, or one the energy of one of the night’s many special guests.

Surrounding Lizzo were Minneapolis mainstays like DJ Sophia Eris (who joins Lizzo in rap group GRRRL PRTY) and producer and multi-instrumentalist Eric Mayson on keys. Several times throughout the night, Lizzo made it clear that everything—the show, the new album, her career—wouldn’t be possible without people like Eris and Mayson, giving a special shout out to her brother Mikey who runs the Lizzo merchandise table.

Lizzo roared through the rest of her set by playing her new record front to back, with a brief interruption by a mini GRRRL PRTY set. GRRRL PRTY is made up of Lizzo, Eris, and Manchita backed by DJ Shannon Blowtorch.

After singing a happy birthday duet to Twin Cities singing legend Har Mar Superstar with local R&B artist Caroline Smith, Lizzo rounded out the night by playing her first hit single, “Batches & Cookies,” noting that while she’s no longer allowed to throw the audience cookies, (“That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen”) she would happily toss Lizzo merch instead.