Lizzo and Latto in Charlotte was a self-loving spectacle of female empowerment

By Jacqueline Parker

October 22, 2022

It’s been over three years since Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You Tour came to Charlotte and, by the turnout on Thursday night at the Spectrum Center, fans were more than eager to see the Grammy Award-winning singer return. While 2019’s performance at Charlotte Metro Credit Union saw a number of twenty- and thirty-somethings decked out in glitter and rainbows, the audience at this show was more diverse and certainly more sparkly. Bookending the age gap, crop-topped tweens chaperoned by mom and dad danced in the aisles along with older folks teetering on the edge of Boomerdom. Everyone in between donned their most flamboyant neon-colored outfits for a night of love, acceptance, and all-around good vibes.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Spectrum Center (@spectrumcenter)

The night started with an opening performance by Atlanta rapper, Latto. Also known as Big Latto, the 22-year-old rapper riding the momentum from her 2022 album, 777, and viral beef with Nicki Minaj, brought some serious twerk-ability to the stage as she ran through hits like “Big Energy” and “PXSSY.” After making a statement about female empowerment, while her dancers held signs that said “Protect Women’s Rights,” Latto brought an audience member on stage for a lap dance, complete with acrobatic jump splits and, of course, twerking. Wrapping up with one of her last songs for the evening, “Sunshine,” cell phones lit up like fireflies throughout the arena.

Video by @supersportsskibo

In the half hour between sets, the arena filled in and chants of “Lizzo! Lizzo!” began to build anticipation for the Texas-born singer and rapper. In our current political climate, particularly where it concerns areas of women’s rights, Lizzo using her platform to encourage and promote messages of positivity and bodily autonomy is important in more ways than one. From her all-female band and DJ Sophia Eris to the Big Grrrls dancers to rallying cries of “Everybody Deserves Love” and “My Body My Choice,” the proclaimed “Self-Love Fest” struck a chord with everyone in attendance.

Early on, the love fest hit a high note when Charlotte’s own Charity Holloway came out for “Tempo” and joined the rest of the Big Grrls dancers. The founder of dance group 4Thirty-Two and cast member of the Emmy Award-winning Watch Out for the Big Grrls was an absolute hit onstage along with her fellow dancers, although she wasn’t a mainstay for the evening.

Lizzo made a point, more than once, to profess her love for Charlotte. It was cemented right before the “Therapy Session” portion of the night when she changed—onstage—into a bedazzled Hornets jersey. The slow-down session was complete with a white couch, from which she lounged and belted out “Jerome” from her Cuz I Love You album.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Charlotte Hornets (@hornets)

Gradually, the energy picked up again as Lizzo paid homage to legends Lauryn Hill and Whitney Houston. Her rendition of “I’m Every Woman” provided a fun segue into disco-tinged “Everybody’s Gay,” her queer-positive anthem. This came on the heels of another message of betterment and self-love. “I’d like to endorse you,” she said, before making a joke about running for president. “You have the power to make this country better.”

From the sound of it, everyone was more than willing to endorse Lizzo for a 2024 Presidential run, although that reality remains to be seen. What did make an appearance, however, was Sasha Flute. After the hubbub with the Library of Congress, it was nice to see Lizzo playing her instrument and showcasing a skill she’s developed over 20 years. Besides, what’s a Lizzo show without her signature flute twerking?

While she ran through clipped versions of songs like “Water Me” and “Scuse Me,” she did not disappoint for “Truth Hurts” or “Good as Hell,” both of which began to close out the evening. With little concern for the time, as it was approaching 11 p.m., she made a point to call out all sections of the arena and address individuals in fun outfits and read signs. She even took time to do a TikTok with the audience. Sure, she could have spent the ten minutes or so going through other songs in the catalog but this intimate moment harkened back to the general sentiment of the evening– Lizzo wanted to make sure everyone felt seen. And they did. 

Lizzo thanked the crowd for “reminding me of who I am” and it’s quite possible that her music, her image, and her insistence on acceptance and self-love has made many of her fans remind themselves of who they are, too.

Check out the remaining 2022-23 tour dates for Lizzo and Latto.

Read next: 

In this article