Megan Thee Stallion Is Joined by Cardi B and GloRilla at Sold-Out Madison Square Garden: Concert Review

“Y’all, this is my first tour ever!” Megan Thee Stallion shouted with glee after picking up a floral bouquet thrown onto the stage by a fan. Surprisingly, after headlining and performing at numerous festivals in the years since her star began to rise in 2017, Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer” is her first full-scale headlining trek, and on this Tuesday night she’d sold out New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden.

While her third full-length album, announced in January, has not materialized yet, the Grammy-Award winning rapper is rolling behind recent singles like “Hiss,” “Cobra” and “BOA.” In fact, the show started with the first-named song, a fierce diss track aimed at Nicki Minaj, while rising on a platform from beneath the stage, clad in a red sparkly jumpsuit, red boots and curly hair. Red flames matching her ensemble lit up the stage’s video screens while a group of dancers rocked away.

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It wouldn’t be a Megan Thee Stallion show without twerking, and there no shortage of it. While Stallion’s backup dancers followed a set choreography, Stallion engaged in more freestyle moves — throwing it back in almost every song — and crowdmembers joined in, twerking in the center aisles during “Big Ole Freak” “B.I.T.C.H.” and “Body.” The “New York Hotties,” as she called them, apparently passed the vibe check: Fans in the pit were dressed up as anime characters (a la “Girls in the Hood” and the graphics in her music videos), and some crowd interaction happened during “Sex Talk” as she pointed to a fan, out of his seat and dancing to every beat. “All right you got energy — boy! But, we finna see which side can get the loudest tonight.” Of course, her trademark phrase “Real Hot Girl Shit!” and signature “Eh!” were uttered many times throughout the show.

But toward the end of her eighth song, Megan was sounding winded — was it be nerves? Too many lyric-heavy songs in a row? Or was she just overwhelmed? But during the next song, “Cobra,” a vulnerable track about her mental health, it seemed clear that she actually was feeling emotional, taking moments away from rapping and choking up during the song. She then left and made her first outfit change of the night and returned in a large crystal shaped like egg for the next song, “Plan B.”

The energy peaked and the crowd went batshit when a special guest walked onstage to show her support: Cardi B. The two rapped “Bongos” and their smash single “WAP,” although Cardi was more focused on dancing. Next, Stallion’s opener GloRilla, whose set earlier in the night got a visit from A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, came out joined the pair for “Wanna Be.”

“Y’all wanna hear ‘Wanna Be’ with muthafuckin Cardi B?” GloRilla shouted. “‘Wanna Be’ muthafucking remix about to drop y’all — be ready. Stay tuned!”

But just when it seemed the audience couldn’t get any rowdier, “Savage Remix” came thundering through the speakers, although Beyonce did not join in for their joint 2019 hit, which for many is filled with memories of learning TikTok dances at home to pass the time during pandemic lockdown.

She closed out “Savage” and the night, picking up another bouquet as confetti drenched the stage, blwing kisses and saying a tearful goodnight: “I love you, New York Hotties!”

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