By Jessie Bonner
Todrick Hall is a performer of many talents. He was on season nine of American Idol, had his own show on MTV, and was a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. He even performed on Broadway in Kinky Boots and Waitress and is popular on YouTube. He is also a proud, openly gay man and is a huge supporter of other queer artists. On top of all that, he is an AMAZING performer.
On the night of Nov. 18, a friend said she had a free ticket to go to this show with her and a friend the next night. I — knowing that the only other thing I would be doing the next night would be watching Netflix and eating peach ring candy in bed — decided to spice up my life a little bit and go. I barely knew who Todrick Hall was, but after listening to his Spotify on shuffle all day Tuesday, I just knew it was going to be electrifying.
Right as I entered the doors to Emo’s, I could feel how excited everyone there was. Everyone was dancing and twirling around to the music playing inside. My friends and I went to the back of the crowd and waited, until finally, the lights turned down. Eight dancers came out on stage, dressed in tight red bodysuits. The screen behind the stage counted down from fifteen, and once the countdown was over, Todrick walked onstage. He was wearing a dress made from red solo cups and a long, bright pink wig. He started off with his song “Attention,” yelling the words, “do I have your attention,” into the microphone, and, boy, did he have it!
As the concert went on, he and his dancers went harder and, somehow, even more excitedly. The dance routines were elaborate and no two songs shared the same moves. The dancers even got their own little section of time to perform by themselves while Todrick changed costumes. The dancing was impressive, but the costumes take the cake. Todrick wore one outfit that made him look like a butterfly; he was wearing a costume during one song that looked like it was made of dollar bills; and they all dressed in western attire for the end of the show. Even more impressive — he makes and provides money for the costumes all on his own.
After a short intermission, they came back on and we had just as much fun as we did in the first half. The female dancers were dressed in shimmery sundresses and the male dancers were dressed in suits, and they slow danced like they were at the prom. Then, they performed my personal favorite — “Amen.” I could feel the intense power in the crowd’s voice as they sang along to “love who the f*ck you want, just ‘cause you can…and the church said ‘Amen.’” Todrick stopped to make several speeches during the show and made a point to say each time that he is proud to be a gay man, and that we should all be proud of who we are; this song really embodies that message. Hearing it live was absolutely breathtaking.
The concert was coming to an end when something interesting that I had never seen at a concert before happened. They were all dressed in western wear, and the dancers all lined up on the stage. Todrick was singing, “Can you believe my ex cheated on me with HIM? And him…and him…,” and each time he said “him,” one of the dancers held up a picture of a man (that I’m assuming his ex cheated on him with). After this, he used different popular songs, like “Macarena,” Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller,” and “Crank That” by Soulja Boy — but changed the words to say “you ain’t sh*t” (also one of his popular song titles). The whole crowd was screaming the lyrics, myself included. While the entire show was something to remember forever, this particular part will definitely stick in my memory; it may be the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.
All in all, my spontaneous plans to go to this concert for a performer I didn’t really know was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had this year! Todrick Hall gained a new fan after this performance and I can’t wait to see him when he comes back to Austin.
Featured image by Jessie Bonner.