When I heard about SZA was going on tour to support her debut album CTRL, I was super excited about the opening acts too. Sometimes opening acts can seem like an after fact that the label just puts on the tour and many people skip them, but I always enjoy seeing the opening acts because it is a great way to be introduced to new music. For SZA’s tour I liked how to picked Smino and Ravyn Lenae as her supporting acts because I felt like their music and artistry were a good match for her. I’ve also seen the both live before and listen to their music, so I knew it would be a good show.
Photos by Ariana LaBarrie/fresh pair of iis
First up was Ravyn Lenae. She sang songs off her projects Midnight Moonlight and Moon Shoes. I’ve seen her before opening for Teyana Taylor last year, so I was excited to see her again. Even though she performs for such large crowds, she also is so personable and warm– it is nice to see that type of stage presence.
Next up was Smino. His album blkswn is one of my favorite album this year and I’ve seen him twice before, so I was hype to see him live again. The St. Louis native wore an old school Pistons jersey, but he definitely repped his hometown-during an break between performing songs off “blkswn,” he performed a medley of St. Louis hits, including “Air Force Ones,” and “E.I.” My only wish was that Ravyn and Smino performed “Glass Flows”
I always say the best way to experience an album is by hearing it played by a live band. While obviously that can’t always happen, I was happy that I was able to listen to CTRL performed live. It definitely gives a different feeling to the album. SZA voice is amazing live, and while her she is this huge rising star, her style of wearing khakis and Chucks showed that fame hasn’t changed her.
Garden (Say It Like Dat)
Doves in the Wind