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The student-run news site of H. B. Plant High School

PHS News

SZA Concert Review

Sydney Appleton
SZA closes her concert at Amalie Arena with a performance of her hit song ‘Good Days.” The crowd cheers and sings along while listening to the Grammy Award Winning Artist’s songs. Scroll to learn more about the concert and SZA.

On Sept. 22, Grammy award winning artist, SZA, held a concert at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, blessing all who were in attendance with a night full of one-of-a-kind performances. Singing songs from her globally recognized albums, along with dancing around the elaborate stage sets, SZA made sure to put on an incredible show.  

I discovered SZA in 2017, shortly after her album ‘Ctrl’ was released. However, she had been making music for years before then. She always had a talent for creating music. She would play neighbors and friends beats she created in her home. Once she realized she had a true gift, she began self-releasing music Following this, she gained recognition and ‘Top Dawg Entertainment,’ a hip hop label, discovered the young woman. After signing with them, she released her first album, Z. This album gained great success, but SZA signed with a larger record label, RCA Records, for the release of her next two albums, ‘Ctrl’ and ‘SOS.’ 

The show began at 8 p.m. with an opening act, D4vd, an up-and-coming artist known for his songs that went viral on Tik Tok. He sang several songs, including his hit ‘Here With Me’ which has gained great popularity over the last year on various social media platforms. During his part of the show, he brought out his younger sister to sing with him. The crowd watched in awe as the two siblings sang beautiful songs together.  

Following the opening act, SZA made her grand entrance. A large screen covered SZA who was sitting on a gigantic platform with her legs hanging off of the side. Once the screen rose, she was revealed, and the concert began. She opened with ‘Seek & Destroy,’ which is one of the hits from her latest album, ‘SOS.’ For this part of the show, she wore a bedazzled denim set over a brown bikini-like two-piece look. This was one of several outfits that she wore during the show. Adding in several different looks that fit the songs she was singing added a unique level of dimension to the show. Although including outfit changes can make performances difficult for some artists, SZA pulled this off flawlessly and looked stunning in each outfit.  

After the opening segment, she sang songs including ‘Love Galore’ and ‘Broken Clocks.’ These two songs are from her Ctrl album which was released almost six years ago. While bright orange lights and digital effects portraying a sunset were displayed on the arena’s screens, the performance of these songs had a whimsical and magical feel. As she sang these songs, she took off part of the denim set, revealing the brown top of the bikini set. Slowly after these songs, she revealed the entire brown set as a new outfit.  

Next was the first full outfit change. SZA went backstage to change into a multi-colored dress that had several different layers and designs. If I saw this dress on a shelf in a store, I would not see the appeal. However, SZA pulled it off and looked gorgeous. To reveal this outfit, she sang ‘All the Stars,’ which is one of her biggest hits. On the track with SZA is Kendrick Lamar, but his part of the song was not portrayed in the concert. With the outfit change came a set change. Quickly, stage workers moved a large boat onto the stage. SZA and her dancers moved around on the boat throughout the next portion of the show, creating a nautical scene.  

Moving forward, SZA began singing some slower tracks from her albums. As she passionately sang ‘Open Arms,’ I began to feel the singer’s pain and sorrow. The track is about her old fiancé who broke up with her after a rocky relationship. While wearing a large pink gown, SZA stood in one place for this song and all dancers left the stage to create an intimate, emotional feel. Most of the audience connected to SZA in this moment and some even shed tears.  

To wrap up the show, the stage crew altered the set again by removing most props but bringing back the large box that SZA sat on at the beginning of the show. The screen revealed SZA sitting on the box in another pink gown surrounded by screens that portrayed sunsets, clouds, and stars. This was the ultimate stage set up. Although there were not large props and it was only screens showing digital affects, it was such a gorgeous scene. Her final song was ‘Good Day’s,’ which was her first song to hit the Global Top 200 list.  

Overall, the concert was one to remember. Belting my favorite songs with fellow die-hard fans while watching one of the most talented singers of our time was something I will always remember and hold close to my heart.  

To listen to all the songs on SZA’s setlist, visit the Spotify playlist below.  

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About the Contributor
Sydney Appleton, Online Editor In Chief

Hi everyone! My name is Sydney and this is my third year on staff. I am this year's Online Editor In Chief. I love to play piano, write, and spend time with my friends and family. This summer I attended the School of the New York Times to study Journalism. I can’t wait for a great year! 

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