by Faith Nguyen
On Feb. 28, 2023, WRBB’s Faith Nguyen headed out with a press pass to see SZA perform at TD Garden, with Omar Apollo opening! Check out Faith’s thoughts, along with some beautiful photos below.
All photos by Faith Nguyen for WRBB.
Omar Apollo started off the night with a laid-back but captivating set. He performed with a simple production and interesting visuals on screen behind him, but he didn’t need flashy lights or choreography to capture the crowd’s attention. The minimal set up allowed his impressive vocals to shine, which echoed through the stadium of screaming fans. During his song “3 Boys,” the stadium lit up with waving flashlights as the fans and performers alike belted the emotional, R&B ballad. He left the crowd wanting more as he beamed, walking off stage.
Anticipation for SZA’s arrival began to swell after the opening set. In-between, a DJ played a high-energy set featuring songs by Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice, and all the other hottest names in hip-hop. The crowd cheered and danced excitedly, even forming something akin to a twerking competition between different groups on opposite sides of the stadium. At last, the screen was raised, revealing the star perched up high on a dock. Behind her was the never ending sea, perfectly recreating a live version of the cover of her latest album, S.O.S. Then, the screen was dropped, seamlessly transitioning from the original stunning visual to an electric choreographed performance between SZA and her back-up dancers.
Even in an oversized jersey and cargo pants, the energy SZA emitted was like that of a goddess. The simple smile she gave the audience in between songs was met with fanatic cheers, demonstrating just how beloved she is to her fans.
The visuals throughout the whole night were beautifully choreographed and told a cohesive story throughout the performance. All the imagery related to the S.O.S. album theme, from lighthouses, to sunken ships, to life rafts. Despite all these amazing props and animations, SZA and her smooth vocals demanded everyone’s attention.