Bringing “Long Live Montero” to New York
Bringing “Long Live Montero” to New York

Bringing “Long Live Montero” to New York

When you arrive at a show on the ‘Long Live Montero Tour’ (get tickets for the remaining dates here), you’re greeted by venue security who hands you a Playbill. It’s a jarring experience — especially, as was the case at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on Sept. 20, when a local radio DJ warms up the crowd by playing songs you’d try to play at a homecoming dance the home. But this Playbill really sets the scene: it has a picture of Lil Nas X on the front, decked out in butterfly wings and all.

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“I hate to write things that aren’t music, but my people are gunning me down to write this welcome note,” reads the front page in a hand-scrawled passage from the rapper, who is certainly not known for taking things seriously. . . “This piece is about my journey, what I’ve been through, my shortness of breath during the show and my aspirations to continue on my way in life.”

Note the use of the word “game”. Especially with the look of that yellow Playbill all around you, the “Long Live Montero Tour” feels like a Broadway production. And when the curtains finally open on Lil Nas X — aka Montero Lamar Hill — you can tell right away that he’s right at home.

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The show is divided into three “Acts,” which seem to encapsulate respectively Lil Nas X’s withdrawn youth, his process of finding himself, and ultimately embracing who he’s now become at 23 years old. It opens with the 2019 track “Panini,” named after the overly sentimental character from the Cartoon Network series. Soup. Even amidst Lil Nas X’s crew of bold and hip dancers, it feels like a subtle nod to his childhood, which becomes more poignant as the setlist progresses to “Sun Goes Down.”

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For the wistful ballad, the setting changes to a childhood bedroom as Lil Nas X sings about feeling outcast: “I wanna run / I don’t wanna lie, I don’t wanna a life,” he sings, as he reminisces. memories of Nicki Minaj and creates memes as an escape. After the device goes dark again, a screen scrolls down showing the projections of the phone and computer screens.

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