Minneapolis, Minnesota. Monday, 5/23/16. It was a day plagued by questions of whether it would be rain, a storm, or something worse.
The weather had predicted a 99 percent chance of rain at 9 p.m. - the time that Beyoncé would start her set. Thankfully it did not storm heavily. After DJ Drama, Jeremih and Wiz Khalifa opened the concert they were rushed off the stage at 8:15 and we were told to evacuate. The group of people I was with all sat in the Mariucci Arena while they played Lemonade waiting for the all clear. The all clear came at 9:00 p.m. with the show not starting until at least 9:35 for stage maintenance and such.
Then it began. The giant set in the middle started to light up and spin while images flashed. It spun for a few minutes and then "Formation" came on. Bey and her dancers strolled out in black with the low brimmed hats. Then she weaved through many of her other hits for about two hours.
The thing that was stunning to me was that every single song was arranged different from the studio version. Some songs were mixes of multiple songs that started as one song and ended as another. Not to mention that the live band was great, each got their solo moments. The drummer during “Countdown,” Guitarist during “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” Bassist during “Blow,” and the backup singers during “1+1.” Even more so the visuals of the concert were mainly just for the tour, not much was reused from Lemonade or Self-Titled. Then some home videos were spliced in as well.
With all of that though, my focus was on Beyoncé the way she moved through the set list, with its six parts that were denoted by the wardrobe changes, was fantastic. Her vocals were on point and runs dispersed throughout the concert. As you would expect the dancers and choreography was great. Some of my favorite choreo came during songs like “Mine” or in the last section of the concert. They had flooded the stage in the middle of the stadium and she performed “Freedom,” “Survivor,” ”End Of Time” and “Halo.”
It was easily one of the best concerts I have ever seen, everything was of the highest quality. The visuals were fantastic, the dancing was great, the sound and instrumentation was Superb, the arrangement and setlist was excellent. Then the performance from Beyoncé was breathtaking. I consistently found myself speechless from watching and paying attention to everything going on. I would emphatically recommend this to anyone.
by Addison Garry (@addisonagarry)