SZA saves Primavera after the rain… but without being photographed

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SZA saves Primavera after the rain… but without being photographed

The rain lets up when midnight arrives and it's time to go see SZA on one of the main stages. The desire to witness one of the current queens of pop live is stratospheric. And Solana earns her headlining role, by the way, extending her concert beyond the stipulated time, about ten minutes. She gives her audience what she wants and literally gives them more. It's a shame that she didn't allow her to be photographed by the press, not even by the organization's official photographers.

SZA has two albums like two suns to present in Spring, 'SOS' (2023) and 'Ctrl' (2017). The set design of the SOS Tour is inspired by the image of a boat. Solana – who is dressed as a sexy pirate – plays with the platforms installed on the stage, accompanied by her band and dancers, and even climbs on a wrecking ball that looks like Miley Cyrus's. Her very presence is imposing; with a toss of SZA's hair she shakes the world. But his real asset is his voice, and SZA doesn't stop singing throughout the concert. His songs have more lyrics than a dictionary. And they have just as many melodies.

SZA's dancing skills are surprising. It's not Beyoncé, but she looks like it. And, although slow tempos abound in her repertoire, her grooves give enough play for Solana to create some sensual choreographies that take your breath away. Above all, 'Shirt', more rhythmic, allows him to shine, although the setlist is dominated by ballads. SZA fans know the lyrics by heart and shout them at the top of their lungs: 'Drew Barrymore' and 'Blind' are all the rage. At all times, it is impossible to take your eyes off SZA, his presence captivates.

The SOS Tour repertoire is gradually moving from coffee for coffee growers to the most universal hits. Surprisingly, I am left alone in my surroundings singing 'Saturn' like a crazy person. It's one of the best songs of the year and one of the best of SZA's career, but, in the audience around me, it doesn't seem to cause much enthusiasm. Not even beyond. Suddenly it seems like an unknown song, when it is one of the biggest hits of the moment.

The real turning point is 'Nobody Gets Me', SZA's emo ballad and, above all, the entry of the rhythm of 'Kiss Me More', which livens up the atmosphere as 'All the Stars' had done before. SZA's disco rhythm allows the audience – at least me – to take a break from his intense melodies and, above all, from his tendency towards excessive melisma. It's part of his charm and of course his success but for me, personally, it bothers me a little. Although songs like 'Normal Girl' are so extremely good, I forget.

The final section already includes the anthems 'I Hate U', 'Snooze' and 'The Weekend'. 'Kill Bill', the Best Song of 2023, the pirate SZA defends by performing a sword dance that looks like Shakira's at the MTV Video Music Awards (Shakira had dedicated 'Kill Bill' to her ex). And, when it seems like SZA is done, she surprises by dropping the base of Drake's 'Rich Baby Daddy' and transforming the show into a party. The bucolic 'Good Days' serves as the final point. “The End” appears on the screen.

But it's not the end. When the audience has begun to leave the stage, and ten minutes past the promised end time, SZA returns to the stage, completely alone, to treat the audience to one more song. Accompanied only by a guitar, Solana sings '20 Something' to a dedicated audience that has earned this gift from the festival's big headliner. Sorry Lana, sorry Vampire Weekend, but SZA has come to our rescue and saved us.

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Simon Müller

Simon Müller is the driving force behind UMusic, embodying a lifelong passion for all things melodious. Born and raised in New York, his love for music took form at an early age and fueled his journey from an avid music enthusiast to the founder of a leading music-centered website. Simon's diverse musical tastes and intrinsic understanding of acoustic elements offer a unique perspective to the UMusic community. Sporting a dedicated commitment to aural enrichment and hearing health, his vision extends beyond just delivering news - he aspires to create a network of informed, appreciative music lovers. Spend a moment in Mueller's company, and you'd find his passion infectious – music isn’t simply his job, it’s his heartbeat.