In case you haven’t heard: Lil Nas X just started his first world tour.
If you’re seeing him soon and don’t want to hear details about the show, bookmark this and come back to it later because there will be spoilers!
As soon as the tour was announced, my sister and I rushed to get tickets. We’ve both been fans of his for a little while, and have been following him relatively closely after. Needless to say, we were excited when his tour was announced and we knew we would have to be there because it would be one-of-a-kind.
We were completely right. Just like everything else associated with Lil Nas X, the concert was large, theatrical and in your face in the best way possible. Right away, as you’re walking in, you’re handed a playbill for the concert. It’s a beautifully put together piece that goes through an introduction to the playbill, as well as a setlist for each of the acts of the show. That’s right; there were three different acts for the concert, each holding their own weight to make the overall experience memorable. It also includes little blurbs such as a dissection of some of his most iconic outfits, various artwork pieces and a little section on the Trevor Project.
Prior to each act, the curtains would close and a visual of Nicki Minaj would appear. She would give a narrative introduction to each part of the show. Everyone lost their minds when she first appeared because it was not something that any of us were expecting to see when we walked through the doors. After the introduction, the curtains would be drawn back and a video would play that would further set up the feeling for each act. Once the video concluded, Lil Nas X would appear.
For never having been on tour before, he truly knew how to work the stage. The stage would be set to match the theme of the act, or even sometimes the song. Lil Nas X would utilize the items every single time to fully immerse himself into the story, as well as bring the audience along by aiding with visuals. To match his incredible stage presence, he had a full team of professional backup dancers and they never took away from Lil Nas X being the performer. There were moments where Lil Nas X would step off stage and allow for the dancers to truly show off their skills and get their own recognition and it was truly incredible to see. When they weren’t all doing the choreography with Lil Nas X, they were focusing on their own that blended beautifully with the music and brought even more life to the story that was being told throughout the entire show.
Even the smaller details, like the outfits, that were scattered throughout made the experience truly memorable. There were a number of wardrobe changes during the show, sometimes between acts, and sometimes between songs. Each outfit change was better than the last one, giving each song that much more stage presence. For example, he obviously wore a cowboy outfit during “Old Town Road”. Whereas, during “That’s What I Want,” he wore the iconic pink football uniform.
As for crowd work, there wasn’t a whole lot. It was slightly different from other concerts I’ve been to, where there has always been a more intimate feeling between the artist and the crowd. That’s usually accomplished by artists taking a few minutes between songs to talk to the crowd and either thank them for being there or ask them to participate in a song. There were a few times where he would get the crowd hyped up by expressing how excited he was to be in Chicago and on tour. Other than a few short sentences, and a brief minute or two between songs to ask about the best Chicago clubs (truly an iconic moment). However, it never felt like it was needed, as there was an unspoken connection between us and him while he was performing.
Overall, it was an amazing show that felt like so much more than a concert. If you have the chance to see him live, I highly recommend it and I cannot wait to see what is in the future for him!