Live Music

Lil Nas X's Long Live Montero Tour Is A Hell Of A Good Time

His performance at Radio City Music Hall was 🔥.

Aaron Idelson

To watch a gay Black man flanked by hyper-feminine dancers headline a show at a venue as iconic as NYC’s Radio City Music Hall is a beautiful thing. Lil Nas X did just that for his sold-out Long Live Montero tour stop on Sept. 20. Here are the most fabulous highlights.

Aaron Idelson

Divided into three acts, Lil Nas’ thematic show borrowed from The Wizard of Oz to illustrate his metamorphosis from aspiring rapper to Grammy winner. As if it were a Broadway show, fans were given a Playbill outlining his cast, crew, fashion credits, and setlist.

Aaron Idelson

The Playbill included a delightfully goofy greeting reflective of Lil Nas’ comedic style of celebrity. “Hello ladies & gentlemen & nonbinaries, and bottoms:” it read. “I love you and appreciate you for coming here with me blah blah blah blah.” He opened the show with “Panini.”

Aaron Idelson

Lil Nas used immersive Snapchat AR to bring fans to his psychedelic Wild West for Act I. Just before “Old Town Road,” he introduced a mechanical horse onstage. Real ones would agree the best part was sampling Ginuwine’s “Pony” into a live rendition of his hit song.

Aaron Idelson

To amplify his modern, country-pop aesthetic, Lil Nas wore six costumes designed by Coach. The looks featured denim, sparkly crystals, leather trousers, and harnesses — an accessory familiar to his fans. A man in the audience wore pup gear (Google it, but incognito).

Aaron Idelson

Before this recap continues, a moment of appreciation for Lil Nas’ physique. In the words of the inimitable Megan Thee Stallion, body-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody-ody. Real cowboy sh*t.

Aaron Idelson

Dearest reader, Lil Nas stole Lady Whistledown’s gig during Act II, where gilded graphics transported him from the ranch to a palace reminiscent of Versailles (or, Bridgerton). In pink satin, he vogued to Beyoncé's "Pure/Honey," showcasing his technique alongside eight dancers.

Aaron Idelson

For Act III, Lil Nas emerged from an egg (or stone? pop stars love rebirth) to perform “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name.)” His delivery, as sexy as the song’s devilish music video, was a boundary-pushing display of fearlessly rewriting what it means to be a rapper today.

Aaron Idelson

Interrupting his performance of “Down Souf Hoes” to tell the crowd “y’all not f*cking lit enough,” Lil Nas hand-picked fans in the orchestra for a twerking contest. With this priceless photo from the night, everybody won.

Aaron Idelson

Long Live Montero is pure fun. It’s a show just as exciting as the lineup of summer pop tours that Lil Nas fans may have also attended, like Rosalía’s Motomami, The Weeknd’s After Hours Til Dawn, Lady Gaga’s Chromatica, Harry Styles’ Love On Tour, and Charli XCX’s Crash.

Aaron Idelson

Lil Nas later danced to Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On,” flashing his appreciation for early-2000s hip-hop. He closed the show with “Industry Baby,” prompting the audience to support his newest single, “Star Walkin.’” It’s the anthem for League of Legends' 2022 championship.

Aaron Idelson