From a private show in Dubai and its official opening in Stockholm to their date in Canada last week, much of the world saw Beyoncé from afar, on her Renaissance World Tour for the first time in nearly five years. Last night, the United States got its first glimpse of the vibrancy of the Club Renaissance with an opening show at the Lincoln Financial Center in Philadelphia.
When trying to do justice to the show, four words immediately come to mind: Courage. Elastic. silvery. look and.
With the opulence of flamboyant mirror-ball cowboy hats and sequined outfits barely found in the crowd, the Club Renaissance’s expansive stage and equipment – flying horses, band costumes, pianos for Mr. everything reflectively silver. everything. From the epic concept videos and athletic dancers in between changes to the sound system that beats sharply with every deep house reverberation, Club Renaissance never missed a beat. Extravagant yet subtly refined, almost everything surrounding the show’s vocal and visual center was subtly executed and bolder for her.
one more thing look and All the technology and powerful dance moves of Club Renaissance were Beyoncé herself. As a singer, she has rightly proven flexible (and there were lots of sharp turns and crazy rhythms to contend with), with electrifying trills and vocal runs flowing smoothly over each distinct musical interlude. As a performer and a curator-producer, her sound choices and visual cues were often daring, she. Even brave.
who has balls Starting a stadium show with “Club” at the beginning and going through SIX songs with ballads and really slow music?
Mr. did it.
Rising from the stage floor with short black sequins and fringes, Beyoncé’s voice twisted into a Bond-like interpretation of Destiny’s Child’s “Dangerously in Love” before slowly waltzing into an atmospheric, emotional “Flaws and All.” Repeating and re-punctuating vocal lines, Bey went for classical jazz dynamism and R&B barnstorming while approaching these powerful ballads. While concentrating on the drone cameras in front (for the sake of the scene’s large video screens), every side view was magnified. Sitting atop the piano for a quiet “1+1”, Bey’s “baby-baby-baby” vampire prepared him for the mighty rolling spirit of “I’m Going Down” (equal parts Rose Royce and Mary J. Blige), followed by ” The chord-heavy, avant-piano-filled little slowdown of “River Deep, Mountain High”, the latter a tribute to the late great Tina Turner.
After the “Opening Act” ballad of the first part (the show is divided into six parts), the mood changed and Beyoncé and company were ready to party, albeit robotically. Distancing himself from his “Metropolis”-inspired metallic fem-bot gear, the vocalist cut sharply on fresh robo-R&B versions of “Renaissance” material like “I’m That Girl”, “Cosy” and “Alien Superstar”. By doing so – and with adventurous choreography that uses mechanical framing to reflect the lyrics of the songs, Beyoncé has recontextualized her latest album live as something weirder, freer and more daring than studio interpretations. Bey also added wacky-hop “Apeshit” elements from the Carters album with her husband, Jay-Z, and Hova’s “Lift Off” cut with Kanye West.
Listening to what Beyoncé adds to each song and interpolates throughout each track has become a kind of spectator sport in this “Motherboard” segment. The brash, clapped disco of “Cuff It” mingles with thumps of “Energy” and “Break My Soul”, interspersed with crowd-exciting covers like Teena Marie’s “Ooh La La” and the Jacksons’ “Shake Your”. Body,” Robin S’s “Show Me Love” and – for true pop-house punctuation – Madonna’s “Vogue”.
The “Wealth” segment found an even more enraged Gentleman in wide-brimmed hats and flashy camo gear over a futuristic tank (yes, a silver tank) with his dancing daughter Blu Ivy Carter. “Run the World (Girls),” remixed for militaristic rhythmic editing with surprisingly sweet harmonies, and “Black Parade” and the star’s Meghan Thee Stallion remix version of “Savage” were crafted as a long, soft-hard riff.
The rough feel of this episode made the next shift, “The Anointed,” even better. Beginning with a sarcastic overlay of many colours, this segment found her in her highest vocal form and her group in her most fluid musical form. The slow-to-fast gospel pop of “Church Girl”, the cosmopolitan quiet storm of “Rather Die Young” (you could hear her heart break when she sang “Boy, you’ll be the death of me”), the ever-rising “Love at the Top” (his hat is from the Jackson 5 ” bent over “I Want You Back”) – perfection. When Bey flexibly sang an insistent, aggressive “Crazy in Love” with catwalk choreography, he was like a cherry on an already delicious ice cream.
When an oversized disco ball moves through the air for the creamy, drifting ballad of “Plastic Off the Sofa” and the super-heated, whirlpool romantic mix of “Virgo’s Groove” and “Naughty Girl” (the last one with a caramel-like chunk “Say My Name”) at its center, Beyoncé read the crowd for an old-school, ticklish house music finale. As the star clads in yellow-and-black for this final episode of “Mind Control,” the party is bursting with extra, bone-crunching percussion and bitchy vibe (“I’m just as insignificant as you.”) Roared during “Heated,” a bit of Kraftwerk-ian spirit (“America Has a Problem.” on) and the quietest singing (“Pure/Honey”) This is from another costume change (yes, a shiny silver costume) and his mount on a flying horse cruising the arena for the syncopated, heavenly Giorgio Moroder manifestation of the “Summer Renaissance” sweated first.
Two and a half hours after its start, Beyoncé turned off the flashing lights of the Club Renaissance, and what began with surprise tenderness and pleasant poignancy ended with the loud and charming explosion of a magnificent disco communion.