After a gruesome two-hour wait fans were greeted by the warm, soft vocals of the Grammy-nominated artist, SZA. As she graced the stage on Sat. Feb. 3, 2018, skin and lip gloss effortlessly glowing, she filled The Norva with her powerful, raw vocals and bubbly personality. Despite not having the opening acts, the sold-out show, which was rescheduled from Dec. 8 due to scheduling conflicts, gave fans everything they were hoping for.
“It was perfect. She was perfect. Definitely worth the $120,” said one fan who has been following SZA for years. $120 is a little steep for a show at The NorVa. However, resale tickets for SZA were going for over $150 after the original show sold out within minutes. The time she took off to prepare for the Grammys, and just to rest in general, surely served her well. Her performance was full of energy the entire night.
Opening the show with “Supermodel,” the opener of the album ‘CTRL,’ she immediately gave the sweet and sultry vibes that her persona exemplifies. After “Supermodel,” SZA took a minute a minute to address the crowd and express how thankful she was to be in Norfolk and to have all of her fans there. She mentioned that her dad was from Richmond so Virginia felt like home and tried her best to respond to every “I love you” yelled throughout the show.
She even accepted a gift bag from a fan which had t-shirts that she immediately changed into on stage. Switching out of her black crop top that didn’t want to stay on her properly into a baseball tee from a fan she laughed and said, “Literally anyone who has ever been to summer camp has done this,” as she pulled the baseball tee over her head and pulled the crop top down, so she wouldn’t expose her undergarments.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I would rather be comfortable than cute,” SZA said. Her comfort certainly made for a great show and she danced across the stage in her sweatpants and t-shirt, even doing a few high kicks and jumps. The NorVa’s tight space feel makes any concert more personal. SZA took that to another level by sharing a story of what inspired her to write each song before performing it.
About, “Drew Berrymore,” which was released as a single in Jan. 2017 before being featured on ‘CTRL’, SZA said, “I wrote this song after I went to a house party that I only went to for a boy and it was really shitty because he came with this girl and she was so pretty and all I had was weed and that’s how I ended up smoking a whole ounce by myself so the moral of the story is don’t do anything for anyone else and if you do make sure you have enough weed to get you through it.”
She performed two songs from her 2014 EP ‘Z’ for the fans that have been following her before the release of her first studio album. Also, DRAM made a special appearance and the two performed their duet “Caretaker” which was on his 2015 EP ‘GAHDAMN.’
“What day is it y’all?” SZA asked the crowd before performing, “The Weekend.” Fans sang along to the hit single through every note and before she left the stage SZA made sure to thank her fans and her band for being there with her.
As the music faded and the lights lifted, you could see the bittersweet looks throughout The NorVa. Glad they got to experience it, but sad it was over, everyone reluctantly filed out of the venue and into the Norfolk streets. Some crowding her tour bus, hoping to get one last look at her full hair and glistening lip gloss.