An illness apparently left Lizzo unable to speak up until a few hours before the first of two sold-out concerts Friday at the Riviera. But the singer would not be denied.

“Flu? Never heard of her!” she cackled.

There were inspirational monologues aimed at herself and her audience, the giant multi-culti, cross-generational “we” that is the rapper-singer-flautist’s ever-expanding following. There was dancing and aerobic moves that would’ve exhausted a less willing performer. There was a flood of songs that hammered home a message of give-yourself-a-break perseverance and hope. And there were laughs and outrageous poses, complete with a wedding veil and sunglasses, that made this performance feel less like a concert and more like a night out with 2,200 of her closest friends. [Chicago Tribune]

Lizzo has been riding high off the release of her third studio album Cuz I Love You, on an ongoing tour that currently has her on the road through October. She stopped in Chicago for two very sold out shows at Riviera Theatre on Friday and Saturday (5/3-5/4), where she and her dancers had the crowd in the palm of their hand with an energetic, very fun set. We went on Saturday; check out pictures (including opener Tayla Parx) in the gallery above, and video clips from both nights below.

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photos by James Richards IV