In the past two years, the overall vibe at live shows has felt somewhat… muted. Sure, everyone’s excited to just be out of the house but there’s just this sense that nobody wants to “do too much.” This is especially evident at events in Hollywood, where “looking cool” is considered to be just as important as having fun. This is a combination that has usually lead to concerts since the pandemic being pleasant but mostly chill experiences. On Thursday night at RED Studios in Hollywood for Megan Thee Stallion‘s performance for Amazon Live, this wasn’t the case.
The crowd got active, with one attendee going so hard, I started to get worried less that he’d land on my brand-new Nike Air Max 95s while jumping up and down than that he’d actually hurt himself from doing so as hard as he could. I didn’t even see energy like this before the pandemic and I go to a lot of concerts for work. He wasn’t the only one, either. I watched fans doing actual floor work as Meg ran through songs like “Her,” “Plan B,” and “Pressurelicious” from her new album Traumazine, as well as fan-favorite throwbacks from her catalog like “Body,” “Simon Says,” and of course, “Big Ole Freak.”
Maybe Megan Thee Stallion fans are just different. The sample size at Thursday’s intimate show was too small to make any reasonable judgment, but it wouldn’t be too big a leap to make the assumption. Fans are often a reflection of the artists they follow — sometimes literally (there were more tall girls per capita at RED Studios on Thursday than I’ve seen at any other venue this year). Meg is an exuberant, cheerful, and delightfully unself-conscious person and that echoed out into the crowd and the reactions to her music. Watching kids utterly losing it to her songs makes sense because that’s what she encourages — just having fun.
Megan Thee Stallion perfoming ‘Big Ole Freak’ tonight at Amazon Music Live pic.twitter.com/4gQSltG7fS
— Stallion Stats (@MegansStats) November 4, 2022
Even onstage, Meg appeared to be having more fun herself than I’ve seen her have in a long time. She’s a big-venue artist who seems most comfortable in small ones; give her a 2,500-cap room and she lights up, scanning the crowd for her “friends” from past events and complimenting even girls at the back of the crowd for having nice hair. Teasing the VIPs in the balcony, she implored them to join in on her interplay with the crowd, encouraging everyone to point their middle fingers skyward and curse out “ugly men” writing the legislation governing women’s bodies.
The quirks that would normally distract from the performance felt less like bugs than features here; Meg loves to let certain bars trail off while she engages in a quick display of knee strength or posterior flexibility — okay, fine, the woman loves to twerk. Her fans love to watch her do so, though, and in a smaller room where the supporting vocal track can pick up the slack, it’s fine. It’s also kind of hilarious to watch so many women’s jaws drop in awe of one of their own while the guys — of all orientations — either try to keep up or pretend like they aren’t staring equally as agog as their dates.
There’s been some chatter online recently about Meg’s music not resonating with fans. Chart-hawking stan accounts and disappointed day-one Hotties have argued that big shifts in the Houston rapper’s sound have cost her relevance. But being in that room puts the lie to such assertions. Meg means a lot to those who do listen and given the diversity she brings together — especially on a Thursday night in Hollywood — her ability to draw such a response is a surefire indicator that she’s still at the top of her game.
Megan Thee Stallion is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.