There was no way Lizzo was going to let a “tiny-ass desk” stop her from putting on a gigantic show in a small room for her debut on NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series. The singer who is currently on an arena run shrunk her show down — but only a bit — for the three-song set highlighting her most beloved Cuz I Love You tracks.
Wearing an orange jumpsuit and matching earrings, she kicked off the set with a soulful run through the title track, bringing some of the saltiest language that’s likely ever bounced around the NPR offices and drawing shouts of approval from what was described as the biggest crowd to ever attend a Tiny Desk. Hitting and holding a high note like it was all in a day’s work, she brought a Sunday gospel feel to the track, backed by a live four-piece band on drums, bass, keyboards and guitar assembled by request from Desk domo Bob Boilen.
“Hallelujah! I don’t know what’s come over me, but I’m cryin’ cuz I love ya!” she said with verve and a hair flip. “Let’s move forward. Cryin’ cuz I love you, but now I’m cryin’ cuz you get on my fuckin’ nerves. That’s natural though, right? That’s a part of it. The spectrum, the polarity. N—-s ain’t shit sometimes. Bitches ain’t shit sometimes too. And all the non-conforming genders in between you can be ain’t shit too! Love is love, man. Love is love,” once again addressing that “tiny, tiny-ass desk.”
Though perched on a stool, Lizzo blew the room up as if she was working a giant room with a raucous “Truth Hurts,” as the band gave the song a bouncy, bluesy throb. How hard did she rock it? She joked that even a crying baby in the audience had an amen for her. The 16-minute office party ended, of course, with a sassy stroll through “Juice” with some help on the “ya-ya-ee” chorus from her new NPR back-up singers and the obligatory fierce flute solo.
Watch Lizzo’s Tiny Desk show below.