On Feb. 28, SZA performed the sixth show of her SOS tour in Boston, Massachusetts. As soon as I found out SZA was going on tour, I knew that I had to get my hands on tickets somehow. Sure enough, after waiting in the Ticketmaster cue for 30 minutes, I was able to secure the bag (AKA tickets). So on the night of Feb. 28, my friend Catherine and I made our quest to the TD Garden for the show. We got to the venue, went through security, and after escaping the merch line with two crewnecks (but without our dignity), we finally found our way to our seats just in time for Omar Apollo, who took the stage moments later. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t remember very much about Apollo’s set because I was still in shock from the fact that SZA was going to be on the same stage. Although I completely zoned out during his set, somehow my hand was still recording, so thankfully I was able to relive his performance through the videos I took. And from what I saw, his set was amazing.
The 20 minutes between Apollo and SZA’s sets turned into something of a pre-concert party as the audience started dancing and singing along to a SZA-curated pre-show playlist that included music from Ice Spice and Glorilla. Anticipation and excitement grew with each second that passed, and when the lights finally went down the crowd roared.
The venue was completely dark, the only visible light coming from the thousands of phones ready to record the opening track — quite a dystopian scene. SZA’s “SOS” morse code began to boom from the speakers as a wave of blue and white lights rolled over the crowd. The sounds of waves crashing together could be heard as SZA began to sing her unreleased song “PSA.” SZA’s set was wonderfully thematic with the nautical concept that carried the audience through the show. It consisted of four acts with all of SZA’s “SOS” hits, including “Shirt,” “Low” and “The Weekend.” SZA closed her show with a “Good Days” encore as she sat on a diving board in a vibrant yellow gown.
Aside from that, I’ll be honest — SZA must have put all of us under a spell because I cannot remember anything else about this concert. That’s not to say that the performance was easily forgettable. But as soon as SZA stepped on stage, a kind of shock took over me that put me into autopilot. While attempting to write this article, I asked my friend who came to the concert with me if she remembered anything from the show. To my surprise, and slight relief, she also said she was having trouble remembering the entirety of the show. As I continued with my struggle to write this piece I started researching the cause for this memory-loss, and apparently this is a symptom of Post-Concert Depression (PCD). While PCD doesn’t have an official diagnosis, it is a very real experience for many concert-goers and can cause feelings of sadness, loss of motivation and memory-loss. The memory-loss comes about as a result of feeling like something that was once a center-point of joy is now a distant memory. Additionally, there is a high rush of adrenaline during concerts, which can cause concert-goers to disassociate from the events taking place around them — similarly to my friend and I’s situation. Nevertheless, I still wanted to publish this piece because we need to normalize having post-concert amnesia.