When an artist of Beyonce’s stature announces a tour, odds are it’s going to sell out. But, when Beyonce tells the world to get in Formation, oh boy, do we. Sold out stadiums, demands for second shows, police forces literally trying to “Boycott Beyonce.” All this to say, whatever Beyonce put in our kool-aid is not of this world.
On Tuesday, June 7th, I arrived at Citi Field (if by chance you are not familiar with the five boroughs, simply type “No Man’s Land, Queens, NY” into good old Google maps) to what one would safely assume was the second coming of Christ. Having purposefully arrived within fifteen minutes of the doors opening, I assumed the lines to enter the stadium would be tolerable at best. Thankfully, I was right. It came as no surprise that in addition to endless merch tables, DJ booths and radio promotion girls, Beyonce also had fantastic security. Whether in formal blues, or neon-green vests, those lovely men and women with (holstered, for which we must thank Lord Jesus) firearms were ready and willing to corral the swarms of concert goers into neat and tidy, but rather long lines.
Once inside, the sheer aura slowly began to take over. Within an hour of being in the stadium, I realized as every minute had passed, I had shamelessly begun to sprout both wings and stinger. By a quarter past seven, I had gone through the transformation and become, a bee.
After finding our seats and some well needed alcoholic bevs, Snapchat’s very own DJ Khaled quickly hopped on stage and thus, the night began.
During DJ Khaled’s set, I was fortunate enough to witness two modern marvels. The first being DJ Khaled’s vernacular, which spanned from, “Another one!” all the way to, “They didn’t want me to (insert verb), so I did!” The second, and albeit the more marvelous of the two was the slew of artists that graced the stage. First up was French Montana with his single, “Pop That.” Then Travis Scott delivered us the “Antidote,” and moments later it went “Down in the DM,” with Yo Gotti. Last but not least, Fat Joe and Remy Ma hopped on stage to perform their new hit single, “All the Way Up.” While all the guest artists were fan-fucking-tastic, the last two performers were indeed the piece de resistance.
As curtains closed, or rather, when DJ Khaled waved good-bye and exited stage left, the fact that we were soon to see her Majesty the Queen (remember, I was fully converted, wings and stinger, an hour or so prior) had concert-goers emotions in flux. Seconds turned into minutes, minutes turned into a half-hour, and a half-hour into one hour and ten minutes. But then, as if she could sense our pain and anticipation, the benevolent box (that we were certain housed our Lord and Savior), began to revolve ever so slightly.
As visuals of the Queen, paired with audio of Big Freedia’s sonorous voice began to fill our, minds, bodies and souls, I knew the time had come.
The night began with a riveting and awe-inspiring performance of “Formation,” complete with wide-brim hats and vintage cinematography on screen. Following the tour’s anthem, was the crowd favorite “Sorry,” which is when I lost every last shred of sanity I had left. Not a single seat was occupied as we all recited in unison, “Better call Becky with the good hair,” and then cheered and whoopee-d.
As the night progressed, I was vividly reminded of how large Beyonce’s catalog is. When she brought back true oldies like, “Baby Boy,” “Survivor,” and “Bootylicious,” my eardrums recalled decades of pure excellence. I was a bit shocked when “Drunk in Love” and “Crazy in Love” (sans Jay-Z), were performed. Then I remembered that this tour wasn’t about the dynamic duo; but instead, her Majesty the Queen’s unequivocal ownership of all that is sonically celestial.
Towards the end of the show, Beyonce surprised us all by revealing that her stage transformed into wading pool. This served as the focal point for the last few songs which included another crowd favorite, “Freedom.” Once the night was clearly coming to an end, we were serenaded by sensuality as Beyonce performed “1+1,” and to close out the show, “Halo.” It was truly a moving moment, complete with fireworks and life-deliverance, for which I will be forever grateful to have witnessed.
Long live the Queen!!