Watch Lizzo Steal The Show At NPR Music's SXSW Showcase The Texas-born, Minneapolis-based powerhouse Lizzo came with her "Big Girls" to Stubb's this year — and brought a surprising cover song along for the ride.

SXSW Music Festival

Lizzo Was 'Good As Hell' At Our SXSW Showcase

If you've only heard Lizzo's hit "Good As Hell" — and if you haven't, listen now, I'll wait — you might think the Twin Cities singer is a funny and ingratiating but fairly straightforward purveyor of self-affirmation and charismatic confidence. But as her joyful and explosive live show unfolded, complete with the arrival of the ecstatic backup dancers she calls "The Big Girls," it became clear that Lizzo has something more powerful going on.

Presiding over what she called "an all-female crew," Lizzo opened her set at Stubb's BBQ in Austin, Texas — recorded live Wednesday as part of NPR Music's SXSW showcase — with "Worship," a playful-but-potent demand to be treated right. ("Patiently, quietly, faithfully / Worship me.") But Lizzo also threw a telling cover into her Stubb's set list: a version of "Drone Bomb Me" by the singer ANOHNI, whom Lizzo described as "my hero" during Wednesday's show.

For a singer whose songs are so focused on celebration — and whose message of comfort with one's own identity and appearance is so crucial to her music — the inclusion of such a dark song seemed striking at first. "Drone Bomb Me," like much of ANOHNI's recent material, processes feelings of alienation through violent, masochistic imagery. As sung by Lizzo, placed among the cheerful likes of "Good As Hell" and "Coconut Oil," the song sent a different message: Lizzo's music, like ANOHNI's, is about loudly, provocatively and fearlessly making space for oneself in the world. As fun as Lizzo's music is, it feels like a revolution, too.

Set List

  • "Worship"
  • "Phone"
  • "Deep"
  • "Drone Bomb Me" (ANOHNI)
  • "Easy Easy"
  • "Scuse Me"
  • "Coconut Oil"
  • "Good As Hell"

Credits

Producers: Robin Hilton, Mito Habe-Evans; Technical Director: Josh Rogosin; Audio Engineer: Timothy Powell/Metro Mobile; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Concert Videographers: Lizzie Chen, Nickolai Hammar, Katie Hayes Luke, Colin Marshall, Kelly West; Editor: Morgan Noelle Smith; Supervising Editor: Niki Walker; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann; Special Thanks: SXSW, Stubb's BBQ

[+] read more[-] less

More From R&B/Soul

Toro Y Moi performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 16, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Toro Y Moi

Toro y Moi loses the voice processing, synths and other heavy effects for a stripped-down acoustic set at the Tiny Desk.

Georgia Anne Muldrow performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 26, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Georgia Anne Muldrow

The R&B singer from Los Angeles is all about showing and spreading love.

&More performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 4, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

&More (Chill Moody & Donn T)

Philadelphia Rapper Chill Moody and singer Donn T, along with their crew known as &More, were one of the standout entrants in last year's Tiny Desk Contest. They bring a message of hope and love.

Nao performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 11, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Nao

The U.K.-based singer-songwriter takes the Tiny Desk on a cosmic journey through her Saturn return.

Leikeli47 performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 8, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Leikeli47

The artist came to the Tiny Desk masked up, as always, the better to catch a glimpse of her soul.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Kenny White On Mountain Stage

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

White accompanies himself on piano in this intimate performance, a contrasting compliment to his expertly arranged and produced studio recordings.

Kenny White On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/696619261/696651386" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Blood Orange performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 10, 2018 (Heeather Kim/NPR). Heather Kim/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Heather Kim/NPR

Blood Orange

This Blood Orange Tiny Desk is a beautifully conceived concert showing off the craft and care that has made Devonté Hynes a groundbreaking producer and songwriter.

Bassist Christian McBride (left) and Blues artist Joey DeFrancesco (right). Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

A Reunion Of Brotherly Love: Joey DeFrancesco Traces His Roots

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Christian McBride interviews one of his oldest friends, organist Joey DeFrancesco, in their hometown of Philadelphia.

A Reunion Of Brotherly Love: Joey DeFrancesco Traces His Roots

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/687886485/688249013" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

H.E.R. performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Nov. 8, 2018. Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

H.E.R.

The singer stuns in her second appearance at the Tiny Desk, showcasing not only her vocal mastery, but her skills as a captivating multi-instrumentalist.

Back To Top