The lights dim whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Whoops ruminate from around the arena. The audience crane their necks trying to catch the first glimpse of their goddess. A huge screen displays pure white ethereal, yet regal imagery. The crowd screams every time Beyonce’s face appears. Her dancers take to the stage. More whoops from the audience and as those dancers make their way to the back of the stage the anticipation heightens yet again. And then there she is, a vision in white. Well a small amount of white. After all Beyonce is the queen of bootilicious and she ain’t afraid to show it, hence the abundance of leotards, skin tight jumpsuits, super short skirts and thigh high boots which make an appearance throughout the show.
A high octane rendition of Run the World (Girls) complete with ferocious vocals and choreography kicked the night’s entertainment off nicely and set the bar for what to expect.
Beyonce went on to explain to the crowd that she wasn’t feeling too well and that she needed our energy to get her through the night. But the only time Bey’s lurg was noticeable was when she addressed the audience with a croaky voice between songs. A true professional from the school of ‘the show must go on’, Beyonce sang and danced her heart out.
As if that wasn’t enough Beyonce knows how to rock a crowd. Looking genuinely impressed at our responses to her requests for audience participation. Towards the end of the evening she asked “Are you still dancing?” before adding “I’m still dancing”. There really ain’t no party like a Beyonce party.
But she’s also super nice. After ‘flying’ through the air to take to a small stage at the back of the arena (hey, even the cheap seats were expensive so it’s only fair that they got their money’s worth) she took time to say hello to some of the fans there. Causing some of the younger fans to blub somewhat uncontrollably.
Beyonce aside, the stage set-up was superb. A big screen showed arty interludes during Beyonce’s (many) costume changes. Sometimes these were accompanied by dancers. Oh my god the dancers, as well as a troupe of female dancers Beyonce included her two male dancers, Larry and Laurent Bourjois. This super-talented and immensely cheeky duo are amazing to watch (do they have bones???) and often I found myself as transfixed by them as I did the show’s star. The lighting and effects are superb too. Glitter, fire, flying through the air. This is a no expense spared show. And the sound. Oh my. Booming base, soaring crescendos it was all there coursing through your body, not just your ears. Plus there’s the über talented all female band and backing singers. The guitarist’s skills easily equalled that of Slash. Just brilliant.
Mrs Carter belted out a selection of numbers from her back catalogue, including Survivor by Destiny’s Child. Stand out songs for me were Baby Boy, Why Don’t You Love Me? (full of soul) Flaws and All, 1+1 (remember how sexy Bey looked writhing around atop a piano at Glasto singing this? There’s more of the same steamy stuff), If I Were a Boy (a fab mash-up with The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony) and Crazy in Love. But in fairness there were no dud tracks and each one was delivered with equal amounts of passion and energy.
I left feeling uplifted, entertained and empowered. I felt like anything was possible. I also felt like I had seen one of our generation’s greatest performers, almost Diana Ross mixed with Michael Jackson. Beyonce doesn’t shirk she works hard and you can’t help but love her for it.
If you’ve got tickets to an upcoming show, I’m very jealous of you, but you will have a ball. If you don’t have tickets you might want to sit on a ticket website continually hitting refresh (like I did) so you don’t miss out on this spectacle.