Since SZA released Ctrl back in June, the album has been in heavy rotation. I listen to at least one song from that album everyday, still. The album has such relevance and is just so relatable. Being that Ctrl is one of my favorite albums of the year, it was only right to see SZA in concert right? My friends and I bought the tickets a few months ago and have been anticipating the concert since the album release. On October 3rd, The Ctrl Tour finally made its way to Houston and man did the city come out to see SZA.
The concert was held at Warehouse Live which is mainly used as a concert venue but can be used for other events. I have been to Warehouse Live a handful of times so I already knew what to expect, sort of. All the concerts I have been to at Warehouse were not nearly as hyped as SZA’s, though. SZA is like “millenial-mainstream” if that makes sense? Like people born in the 90’s know who SZA is, so everyone wanted to see her live especially with the success of Ctrl. With her being “millenial-mainstream” and all, it was already expected that the line to get in would be a mile long… but I wasn’t expecting what I saw yesterday. There were so many people in line, I was worried we weren’t all going to fit in there. My friends and I were at the back of the line and it was still a lot of people behind us! I’ve never experienced a concert like this, where it’s a standing room only concert with an artist that might be too big for the venue.
After a long wait and some sort of medical emergency, the staff finally started to let people in. Once we got in, we went straight for the crowd, we didn’t want to waste any time. A good amount of people were already in there but we still had good spots. Not 10 minutes after we were let in, the first opening act came to stage. Her name is Ravyn Lenae and she is a singer from Chicago. I enjoyed her act, I think she is talented and the crowd received her fairly well. The next opening act was a rapper from St. Louis named Smino. I was familiar with him, listened to his mixtape one time, thought it was pretty good but not really something I would listen to on a consistent basis. The crowd really liked him. He put on a good set, had good music and a good band, and even took it back for us “nineties babies”, as he kept referring to us as. He remixed a T-Pain song and also paid homage to his hometown by playing two Nelly songs. Overall, good performance and I wish him the best. After Smino left the stage, next was the headliner… SZA. We saw her band mates trickle out to the stage, they were setting up a few things, removing covers off her stage prop, four big letters in red… C T R L. At that point, people had their phones out and were prepared for her to come out.
I could be your supermodel if you believeeeee. SZA walked out to the stage and started performing her first song from the album, “Supermodel”. I had a feeling she was going to start with that. It was hard to enjoy the song because everyone was in a frenzy, pushing, holding their phones up to put her on their Snapchat (I can admit I was one of those people). For the first few songs, I was very uncomfortable. Everybody was on top of each other and in those moments, I remembered why I said I wouldn’t go to a standing room only concert ever again… I MEAN IT THIS TIME. People can be rude and everyone wants the perfect view, the perfect picture so it just makes everybody crazy. Honestly, I don’t have to be in the middle of the crowd or anything like that, I would have enjoyed being in the back but when in Rome I guess…
I don’t remember the order SZA performed which song but she began with “Supermodel”, she sang “Doves in the Wind”, “Child’s Play”, “Babylon” (possibly, not familiar with her old music) , she did “Garden”, “Go Gina”, “The Weekend”, “Broken Clocks”, “Normal Girl”, and a few others. “The Weekend”
was the song she ended with *correction: SZA ended her concert with “20 Something”, “The Weekend” was the second to last song* but I was surprised because I thought it was going to be “Love Galore”. Speaking of “Love Galore”, I remember saying to my friends that Travis Scott should perform the song with her but then I wasn’t expecting him to come. Before she started “Love Galore” she talked for a little while then said “So let’s party!” and I said to myself “Yeah, Travis is here”. Sure enough, we hear humming come from the background and then here comes pants sagging, weed smoking Travis Scott singing “why you bother me why you bother me why you bother me”. At that point, the crowd was crazy, everybody was pushing each other, people jumping up and down… total chaos. BUT IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. I’m happy to say that I attended one uncomfortable, crazy concert because it was for SZA… anybody else, no.
I really enjoyed SZA’s concert, I thought she sang well, she kept the crowd engaged, everybody was singing every word, and then to top it off, you bring out Houston’s own Travis Scott… I give you 5 stars Miss Solana.
A photo inside Warehouse Live, obviously. Picture quality is eh, getting the iPhone 8 soon.