SZA Celebrates Final Stop Of Her SOS Tour In Los Angeles: Recap – Billboard

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By the time SZA reached the last stop on her sensational arena tour — performing two final shows at Los Angeles’ The Forum on March 22 and 23 — most fans in attendance knew what to expect. 

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Opener Omar Apollo has been consistently filling venues across the country — proving he’s the kind of act worth showing up on time for by delivering a headline-worthy show himself. Meanwhile, SZA first revealed to Billboard in her Women In Music cover story that she wanted her concert to feel like a Broadway show, saying “I am deeply excited to pop ass and cry and give theater.”

She (almost) did all three.

On Wednesday (March 22), SZA delivered one of the most compelling and detailed live shows in recent memory — and with the energy and conviction of opening night. Plus, she did so with a star-studded crowd watching, which included everyone from Justin and Hailey Bieber to Adele and Kim Kardashian (who earlier in the day revealed a new “SZA for SKIMS” campaign) and many more. 

It’s hard to pinpoint what aspect of SZA’s show is most impressive, and that’s likely what makes it so strong. Throughout the near 90-minute set, the chart-topper served a series of looks with the speed of a quick-change artist (the set seemed to shift just as rapidly), performed intricate and interpretative choreography, sailed over the crowd in a lifeboat and all the while perfectly blended her two albums — CTRL and SOS — into one cohesive setlist that guided her introspective story from one act to the next. 

From the moment the show began — with SZA recreating the SOS album art — it was clear that water was just as much a main character as she. As such, it became a metaphor throughout, mirroring the rocky waves that too often accompany love or one’s career (particularly in the music industry) but ultimately proving an artist like SZA can survive any storm.  

After performing “Broken Clocks” from a makeshift loading dock, SZA boards a weathered boat that reads CTRL FISHING CO for “All the Stars,” her collaboration with former TDE labelmate Kendrick Lamar. It’s smooth sailing on songs like “Garden (Say It Like Dat)” but then, during the assertive “Low,” lightning breaks out as the boat begins to rock, during which SZA falls into an epic split with impressive ease. 

The now iconic rescue boat — as seen on social media — is then unveiled as a lighthouse emerges from the center of the arena’s floor, becoming a beacon as SZA sails above the crowd singing “Supermodel” and “Nobody Gets Me.” She introduces the latter as a song about starting her life over, during which Kim K sings along while recording a selfie video with sister Kylie. 

A new act is revealed when SZA returns to the stage, and this one takes place underwater, with a giant anchor taking the spotlight. She performs the Grammy-awarded Doja Cat hit “Kiss Me More,” on which she features, and soon after an alarm blares as a strobe flashes — leaving viewers uncertain if she’s being rescued or sinking deeper into trouble. 

The next song makes it a bit more clear. The stage is reset yet again as SZA emerges with a deadly flail for “Kill Bill,” which leads into “I Hate U” and “The Weekend” (all of which Hailey Bieber passionately sings along to without missing a word). 

SZA pulls off a final quick change for her one-song encore, the melodic “Good Days,” which she performs much like how she started the show, with her feet dangling over a ledge. And just like that, a screen descends that reads “The End” written in stars, followed by rolling credits that begin with, in all caps: CREATIVE DIRECTION BY SOLANA ROWE.

And as fans float to the exits, much like a director would following a screening, Solana herself appears one last time to deliver a humbled message of gratitude. “Genuinely, thank you,” she says so casually it almost goes unnoticed. “I never thought I would be here.”

From the outside looking in, though, the path here has been nothing short of a perfect storm, one that SZA survived by being in the eye of. And as her victorious headlining tour proved, no matter how much time passes, she will forever remain the center of it all.



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