I’d talked myself out of getting tickets for the second leg of Beyoncé’s Mrs Carter World Tour, having already splashed the cash on her first visit to Birmingham last year. Then I heard that one of Hubby’s work colleagues who had been to the 2013 leg of the tour was going again. Well if she was…,I reasoned. Then I heard that Queen Bey had added a whole host of songs from her new, self-titled, album to the set list. And then there was the eye scenario and my resolution to ‘see all the things’ Yep, it didn’t take me long to justify picking up some last-minute side of stage tickets for last nights performance at the LG Arena in Birmingham and boy am I glad I did!
When I say side of stage, we still had a pretty good view. Beyoncé still looked life-size and, although the screen behind her occasionally pixellated due to our viewing angle, we could always take a quick squizz at the side of stage screen to see what we were missing. Personally I’d rather have side of stage and be able to see the artist, than have front of stage at the back and watch a tiny dot dancing around the stage. But that’s just me…
So was it worth going again? Oh yes! Oh yes! Oh, be still my beating heart, yes! Sure, she rolled out some of the favourites from the first leg of the tour, including Get Me Bodied, Baby Boy, Diva, Naughty Girl, Love on Top, Crazy in Love (no Beyoncé gig would be complete without this surely?!), Single Ladies and Halo. She also reverted back to opening with Run the World (Girls) as per the first leg of the tour (a change in the set list since her first Glasgow show), showing that Beyoncé is still tweaking the show to give her fans the ultimate #flawless show. And that’s just it, alongside those old favourites were a host of new tracks which Beyoncé is carefully working into, what was already, an impressive set. It could have been a car crash, it wasn’t. In fact, the aptly named #Flawless was possibly one of my favourite performances of the evening – a kick ass track, with a wicked bass line, a feisty dance routine and Bey telling the crowd in her Southern drawl to sing ‘with attitude’. New track Drunk in Love received a massive cheer as Beyoncé straddled a chair and sang about those bath tub antics! Oh er!
Indeed, as well as a sprinkling of her new material, she also added a huge dash of spice to the mix. Now Bey has always been foxy, don’t get me wrong. But there does seem to be a certain ‘She’s flirty, turned 30, ain’t that the age a girl gets really dirty‘ to our Ms Carter these days. As if her figure (a seductive petite hourglass), flawless skin and mix of grace and swagger weren’t enough, our ‘Yonce has cranked up the sex appeal to 11! It’s true that the songs on her new album lend themselves to this ‘naughty girl’ Beyoncé. But my god – pole dancing and THAT dance on the couch thing for Partition?! Plus her writhing atop the piano for 1+1. All I can say is Jay Z – you are one lucky man!
Similarly having an entire arena screaming ‘I want you to turn that cherry out‘ must be kind of surreal, but that’s what happened as the crowd took to singing along to raunchy new pop tune, Blow. Beyoncé’s shocked face at the finale of the song as a Pacman-style character gobbled up the final cherry ensured the whole affair was cheeky rather than seedy.
It wasn’t all sauce though. There were also some strong ballads, including a fabulous acapella version of I Will Always Love You, which perfectly showcased her stunning voice. She belted out Heaven with such passion that I had to stifle a tear.
But back to the cheekiness! There was the cute self-satisfied beam that lit up ‘Yonce’s face every time the crowd sang along to one of her new tracks. Then there was her standing alongside Les Twins trying to play the pop diva, lapping up the screams from the crowd. But Bey couldn’t keep up the persona for long, breaking into a smirk, followed by a smile and then full-blown giggles. Just another reason why we love her so!
Speaking of Les Twins, they were just astounding as ever with their ‘how do they do that?’ dance routines, infectious smiles and constant cheekiness. Every time I watch them I wonder a.) if they actually have bones and b.) if they ever actually just walk anywhere, or if life for them is just one constant dance.
Crowd participation was encouraged with Beyoncé getting us to belt out both Irreplaceable and XO. She even personally serenaded one lucky birthday boy with ‘Happy Birthday to you’. That’s a B’day he’s unlikely to forget.
Beyoncé always gives 150% – strong vocals, high-energy dance routines, combined with strong production levels, superb dancers, great visuals, stunning outfits, a good use of props and lighting, pyrotechnics, glitter cannons – you name it – it’s there! Was it worth going again? Yep, even though Beyonce performed some of the same material as last time she’d added a different twist to them. She’d redesigned the stage slightly. She’d added the new material, new costumes… And to be fair, who could ever get bored of watching Beyonce? It’s like watching an angel perform… albeit a fallen angel sometimes.
Fabulous rating: 5/5