I have been a fan of SZA since I first discovered her in 2012 at the Enter the Void Tour, where she was the opening act for Jhene Aiko. At the time, I didn’t know much about her, but after doing some research, I was instantly hooked on her music. What struck me the most was how relatable her songs were, especially since we are the same age. Her music always seemed to come at the perfect time in my life.
In 2018 SZA headlined her own tour for her album CTRL, which felt like a musical diary for all of us 20s something. Now, the opportunity to see her first-ever arena tour following the massive success of her third album SOS was truly an amazing experience. It has been a joy to witness her career blossom throughout the years, and this tour is a testament to her talent and hard work, as soon recently at CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore.
During the concert on Sept. 28, SZA sat on the edge of a plank and sang “PSA” to a sold-out crowd. The opening credits set the tone for the entire show, welcoming thousands of concert-goers to The SOS Tour. “Seek and Destroy” began to play, SZA reappeared on stage with dancers, exuding high energy and commanding the attention of the entire venue. Moving effortlessly from one side of the stage to the other, she engaged with every corner of the crowd, ensuring that no one felt left out.
Watch a lyric video for “Seek and Destroy” by SZA on YouTube:
One of the things I loved most about the concert was how SZA performed songs from her previous album CTRL. Hits like “Love Galore,”
“Broken Clocks,” “Prom,” “Garden,” “Supermodel,” and many more. It was a nostalgic trip down memory lane, taking me back to a time when she performed at The Fillmore Silver Spring with just a band. Now, she has a full-on stage production, but what hasn’t changed is her connection with her fans.
Throughout the CFG Bank Arena concert, I saw many supporters in tears, in awe of SZA’s grace and fearlessness on stage. She has a way of making everyone feel seen and heard. At the end of the show, she even selected a few lucky individuals to join her backstage, recognizing the connection they had formed during the performance.
The visuals during the concert were stunning and perfectly aligned with the SOS theme. The audience found themselves on a boat as SZA performed “All the Stars” from the Black Panther soundtrack. Navigating through a storm the energy in the venue soared as wind and waves engulfed the stage as she performed “Low.” In the blink of an eye, the scene transformed as SZA sank to the bottom of the ocean, surrounded by sharks and this huge anchor. SZA was saved by a raft floating over the audience, bringing her eye-level with those in the 100 section. The crowd was taken on a visual journey that added another layer of excitement to the show.
As the concert came to a close, SZA performed my favorite song, “Good Days”, against the backdrop of a perfect sunset. It was a serene moment, and the audience swayed along, fully immersed in the beauty of the music.
From discovering her as an opening act to witnessing her headline her own tour, it has been a joy to see her career flourish. SZA’s music has always been relatable and timely, and her ability to connect with her fans is unparalleled.
Before SZA took the stage, the crowd awaited the performance of d4vd, the opening act for SZA’s The SOS Tour. As the lights dimmed and the music began, d4vd burst onto the stage, starting the show with an upbeat song titled “WORTHLESS.” The lyrics conveyed the emotions of feeling unwanted by a girl and the desire to escape from that situation. It was evident that this young artist, who was once just a kid playing Fortnite, had created a unique sound and relatable stories for the Gen-Z generation.
The energy in the arena was infectious as the crowd immediately connected with d4vd’s music. Despite being an up and coming artist, he had already had a significant following, and it was evident that his fans were present in the audience. This was particularly evident when d4vd performed his third song, the grunge ballad “Sleep Well.” Emotions ran high as the crowd passionately sang along, lighting up the entire arena. It was astonishing to think that d4vd had created most of his music on his cell phone in the closet of his younger sister. Though she couldn’t attend the sold-out concert, she often made appearances on stage with him to sing along, adding an extra layer of intimacy to his performances.
Watch the official music video for “Sleep Well” by d4vd on YouTube:
One of the highlights of the night came when d4vd performed the popular TikTok song “Here with Me.” The audience went wild, singing every word with him and immersing themselves in the heartfelt lyrics. I observed a young man in the crowd completely lose himself in the moment, belting out the chorus and expressing his own emotions through d4vd’s music. It was a testament to the power of music to connect people and create a shared experience.
Throughout his set, d4vd expressed his gratitude for being part of such a massive tour at the age of 18. He acknowledged how fortunate he felt to have the opportunity to share his songs about heartbreak and love with a wide audience. As the concert drew to a close, D4vd ended with the fan-favorite track, “Romantic Homicide.” The crowd erupted in excitement, pulling out their phones to capture this unforgettable moment. The energy in the arena was electric, and it was evident that this was the performance that the audience had been eagerly waiting for.
From the moment he stepped on stage with the upbeat “WORTHLESS” to the emotional rendition of “Sleep Well,” and the crowd’s intense participation during “Homicide Romance,” d4vd left an lasting mark on the audience. Despite his young age and short time in the music industry, his relatable lyrics and unique sound have resonated with listeners, earning him a devoted following. As he continues to grow as an artist, it’s clear that d4vd has a bright future ahead of him, and audiences can expect even more captivating performances in the years to come.
Here are some photos of SZA performing at CFG Bank Arena on Sept. 28, 2023 — along with a few memories! All pictures copyright and courtesy of Mecie Gold.