SZA has treated her New York City fans to a slightly different version of her SOS Tour with some help from special guests Cardi B and Phoebe Bridgers.
The two megastars in their own rights joined SZA as she brought her expertly produced concert experience to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night (March 4)
SZA’s tour set list includes every song on her chart-topping sophomore album SOS; and with Bridgers on hand, she was able to present a complete live version of “Ghost On The Machine” for the first time.
The 2-hour set also features select numbers from her 2017 debut Ctrl, as well as a handful of SZA’s popular guest appearances, including Kendrick Lamar’s “All of the Lights,” Saweetie’s “Kiss Me Closer” and Cardi’s “I Do.
Cardi B, who also delivered her verse from her GloRilla collaboration “Tomorrow 2,” took to Twitter on Sunday morning to praise SZA’s performance.
“Sza show was amazing!!!! I recommend….,” she wrote. “It was giving vanilla & lavender aroma vibes ..I loved it soooo much!”
According to Variety, the performance uses intricate set designs to carry a nautical theme from the opening song of the show, “PSA,” which sees SZA sitting on a diving board, recreating the SOS cover. From there the stage transforms to a dock, a boat, a dinghy and an aquarium before bringing the TDE songbird and her audience back to the diving board set up.
The SOS Tour kicked off on February 21 in Columbus, Ohio. The following night, SZA performed to a sold out crowd in Chicago, where she took the time to share how overwhelmed she was by the experience.
This is my first time ever being in a space anything like this,” she told the audience. “And I really… Some of y’all may have known me since we been in small rooms together and those intimate rooms. So you know how much this means to me. You’re gonna make me cry. But I just really can’t say thank you enough, because it’s not lost on me. Your time, your attention, the fact that you paid to come here; I really hope you had a good time. I really love you, I really do. I appreciate you.”
As she continues on the 17-city North American trek, which she’s scheduled to close in Los Angeles on March 22, SZA has announced plans for a deluxe version of her record-breaking sophomore effort, which has spent a total of 10 weeks at the No. 1 position on Billboard‘s Hot 200 Albums chart since its release in December.
The New Jersey singer was crowned Billboard‘s Woman of the Year, and in an interview with the publication said she’s grateful for the success SOS has achieved since it dropped.
“Right now, I just have extreme gratitude because I swear to God, I never thought I’d be No. 1 for even a week, let alone seven,” the 33-year-old said. The project had notched even more weeks atop the chart by the time Billboard’s “Women In Music” issue was released.
SZA’s sophomore effort debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 318,000 equivalent album units. That figure included 404.5 million on-demand streams, which broke the record for the biggest streaming week ever for an R&B album and the second-largest streaming week for a female artist.
In February, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and several singles received platinum or gold certifications, including “Good Day,” “Kill Bill,” “I Hate U,” “Blind,” “Shirt,” and “Low.”
However, the R&B star isn’t done yet, and told Billboard she will “soon” be dropping off the project’s deluxe edition, which will include 10 new songs, bringing the grand total to 33 tracks.
“After I do the deluxe, I’m hoping to be able to accept that this chapter is done,” SZA said. “I’m looking forward to actually feeling proud of myself and not just smiling and nodding at accolades but really feeling it internally and knowing that I’m good enough.”
She added: “I guess I need to stop trying to figure out what it means and start realizing and living in what it is.”