When arriving at a present on the “Lengthy Reside Montero Tour” (seize tickets to remaining dates right here), you’re first greeted by venue safety handing you a Playbill. It’s a jarring expertise — notably, as was the case at New York Metropolis’s Radio Metropolis Music Corridor on September twentieth, when a neighborhood radio DJ is warming up the viewers by blasting songs you may need tried to grind to at a homecoming dance. However this Playbill really units the scene effectively: It has a photograph of Lil Nas X on the entrance, adorned with butterfly wings and all.
“I hate writing stuff that isn’t music however my individuals are forcing me at gunpoint to write down this welcome observe,” reads the primary web page in a hand-scribbled passage from the rapper, who actually isn’t recognized for doing issues in earnest. “This play is about my journey, what I’ve been via, me being out of breath whereas performing and my aspirations to proceed on my path in life.”
Discover using the phrase “play.” Particularly with glimpses of that Playbill yellow round you, the “Lengthy Reside Montero Tour” feels one thing like a Broadway manufacturing. And when the curtains lastly open on Lil Nas X — a.ok.a. Montero Lamar Hill himself — you may inform instantly that he feels proper at dwelling.
The present is cut up into three “Acts,” which seem to respectively encapsulate Lil Nas X’s reclusive youth, the method of discovering himself, and, lastly embracing who he has turn into now at 23. He opens with the 2019 observe “Panini,” which will get its title from the overly sentimental character on the late-aughts Cartoon Community sequence Chowder. Even amid Lil Nas X’s crew of raunchy, voguing backup dancers, it appears like a delicate nod to his childhood that turns into extra heartbreaking because the setlist proceeds to “Solar Goes Down.”
For the melancholy ballad, the set design transforms right into a childhood bed room as Lil Nas X sings of feeling outcast: “I wanna run away/ Don’t wanna lie, I don’t desire a life,” he sings, as he remembers reminiscences of stanning Nicki Minaj and creating memes as an escape. After the set goes darkish once more, a display screen rolls down exhibiting projections of cellphone and laptop screens.