Lizzo performs while sick at private Detroit Saint Andrew’s Hall gig before heading to Little Caesars Arena

The 34-year-old singer battled congestion during the set, but that didn’t stop her from twerking and playing the flute like a boss

click to enlarge A congested Lizzo performs at Saint Andrew's Hall for SiriusXM's Small Stage Series. She was tired halfway through the set. - Scott Legato/Getty Images for SiriusXM
Scott Legato/Getty Images for SiriusXM
A congested Lizzo performs at Saint Andrew's Hall for SiriusXM's Small Stage Series. She was tired halfway through the set.

A slightly hoarse Lizzo took the stage Wednesday at Detroit’s Saint Andrews Hall the night before her Little Caesars Arena stop, wearing mall goth studded pants and a tank top.

We were expecting a glittery bodysuit with lots of ass showing, but the Detroit native wasn’t feeling her best, and she didn’t hide it.

“My vocals ain’t vocaling today,” she told the crowd. She said she almost didn’t perform that evening, telling fans that she only showed up in the end for them.

The evening was a private affair as part of SiriusXM’s Small Stage Series. Entry was limited to invited guests, family members, and fans who were lucky enough to win tickets through a SiriusXM giveaway.

Those who missed it will have to catch a recording of the show on the SiriusXM Hits 1 channel or SXM App, where the audio will premier at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12 or on SiriusXM’s The Heat at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14.

Saint Andrew’s Hall is worlds away from the massive venues Lizzo typically plays these days, including Little Caesars Arena, where she’ll perform a second Detroit show Thursday night. But she’s performed at Saint Andrew’s Hall before — back in 2019 when she was rising to superstardom, the singer played her first headlining Detroit gig here.

Despite her congestion, Lizzo was full of energy as she jumped up and down, tossed her hair, and hit high notes early in the set.

She tried her best to keep it together, but about halfway through the show, the 34-year-old singer was tired, which she told fans as she enlisted their help on some of her more popular songs.

“Truth Hurts” became a collective karaoke effort as nearly 500 fans sang the verses while Lizzo saved her voice for the chorus.

As the evening went on, her vocals deteriorated and her energy waned, but that didn’t stop fans, who showed up in rainbow boas and sparkling boots, from dancing and showing her love.

Through it all, the body-positive performer kept it real, including calling out whoever taped her set list on the stage upside down so she couldn’t read it.

All the jams we wanted to hear, including “Good as Hell,” “Juice,” and “Truth Hurts,” were there, along with songs from her latest album like “About Damn Time” and the title track, “Special.”

click to enlarge Lizzo's flute and her talented guitarist were the best parts of the show for us. - Scott Legato/Getty Images for SiriusXM
Scott Legato/Getty Images for SiriusXM
Lizzo's flute and her talented guitarist were the best parts of the show for us.

She even did a brief cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman,” which led into her feminist anthem “Like a Girl.”

But Lizzo was not up to the task of putting on a powerhouse performance like she typically does. Still, we give her props for pushing through.

While it wasn’t her best effort, the night embodied what makes intimate shows so great — the intimacy, of course.

Lizzo held the mic out to fans in the front row and put on a rocking show in the small venue with her badass all-female band, who laced the set with guitar solos and catchy bass lines.

“This is what I do,” she told the audience. “You put me in a rock venue, I’m gonna do a rock show.”

She had the audience sing happy birthday to a fan who was celebrating that night, and brought her on stage to take a selfie (after making sure the fan was wearing a mask so she wouldn’t catch whatever was giving Lizzo the sniffles).

The highlights were Lizzo’s flute playing on “Juice,” “Truth Hurts,” and “About Damn Time”; the rocking guitar player; and booty-shaking by her “Big Grrrl” dancers that we couldn’t take our eyes off.

The hour-long set felt over all too fast as Lizzo thanked her fans and twerked off stage, leaving them wishing for an encore that never came.

Lizzo, we hope you feel better and that it’s not COVID. And happy birthday Clarissa (sorry if we spelled that wrong). Now, excuse us as we prepare for round two at Little Caesars Arena.

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About The Author

Randiah Camille Green

After living in Japan and traveling across Asia, Randiah Camille Green realized Detroit will always be home. And when she says Detroit, she's talking about the hood, not the suburbs. She has bylines in Planet Detroit News , Bridge Detroit , BLAC magazine, and Model D . Her favorite pastimes are meditating...
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