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There are big concerts. Then there is Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour.
Monday night at B.C. Place, fans turned out at the House of Chrome strutting their most fab “silver-wears.”
The singer announced her birthday wish to see the crowd become a “shimmering human disco ball each night. Everybody mirroring each other’s joy” for her shows from Aug. 23 to Sept. 22. Her birthday is Sept. 4.
The pre-show excitement was just another example of the way “Queen Bey” has built excitement around the tour in support of her Grammy-winning seventh studio album.
The dance-heavy Renaissance is a dedication to the Black, Latinx and LGBTQ2+ underground club music that provided the template for today’s global EDM scene. The album is a romp of upbeat, groove-laden party tracks of the type you can easily picture blowing up in a large arena. And B.C. Place was buzzing with anticipation.
The show kicked-off at 8 p.m. Over the next two-plus hours, the program, broken down into segments — the Signboard, Renaissance, Motherboard, Opulence, Anointed, Anointed Pt.2, Memories Run Through the Wires and closing Mind Control — boasted 39 tunes. Renaissance is billed as Act 1 of a series that will be continued in future recordings.
While not everyone came in their shiny finery, enough fans did turn out to give a good glimmer from the floor to the upper levels. What was really the highlight, though, was those who went the distance and more. Among the best were skin-layer catsuits to cowboy regalia from a stampede that seemed way more fun than anything in Calgary.
Naturally, many added to their wardrobes upon arrival.
Ed Sheeran may have recently broken the stadium’s attendance records, but the merchandise booth lines at this show sure seemed likely to break venue sales records. They were almost up to the entry gate from the first level down. Fortunately, the show started well after the 8 p.m. listed time.
But, oh, what a start.
Emerging in sartorial blue robes as the stage wheel rolled away to reveal the mirrored multi-tiered bandstand and silver decked 11-piece band, Beyoncé belted out an acrobatic Dangerously In Love from the Destiny’s Child days. And afew more ballads before the Afro-Futurist bass bombing Renaissance intro video had downtown towers shaking.
The “Queen Bey” emerged in an armoured and pink Muppet fur coat, feet up, to deliver a blazing Cozy framed by over a dozen dancers.
The party was on.
Obviously, high production values are a given at a show by such an artist. But the dancing, visuals and lighting were excellent. Every screen showcased just the right shot as camera people and floating remote cams worked their magic.
Then, another interlude and, ba-bang, it was a full-force Funkadelic vamp on Cuff It and some rubber baselines in Energy that just slammed.
Formation was rather rote and the costumes weren’t up to snuff. Of course, this segment featured more contemporary EDM stylings and — gasp — they might not be as enduring and resonant as the more vintage vibes of earlier segments. A matter of taste, for sure.
The crowd freaked out when Beyoncé’s 11 year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter joined the dancers to showcase some moves. She handled her time in the spotlight just like she was born under it.
By this time, many major shows would be winding down, but there were nearly 20 songs remaining and the fire walls and lasers were just warming up.
Hits and more just kept coming.
It was a marathon arena experience by an artist who certainly delivers.
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