by Dana Heyward; photos by author
On July 31st, the “Beehive” from the tri-state area gathered at the Izod Center in New Jersey for the sold-out Mrs. Carter concert. Mrs. Carter, otherwise known as Beyoncé (Or King B, Sasha Fierce, Queen Bey, whatever your preference), was on her 57th stop of the tour but in no way did the show feel tiresome or repetitive.
R&B newbie, Luke James opened the show performing some hits from Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, mixed in with a few of his own singles. For those who aren’t familiar with James, he’s the male version of Keri Hilson, making the transition from doing back-up vocals and song writing for pop sensations to actually recording and performing his own music. While James put his heart out on the stage and momentarily had the crowd grooving to his sultry voice, he’d only served to wet the crowd’s appetite.
About a half hour after James, the lights dimmed and the two-hour show stopping concert filled with sequins, glitter and sass commenced. Beyoncé arrived, personal fan and all, commanding all the respect and attention the stadium could give. The performer started off the how with her crowd-pleasing “Run The World” followed by the up-tempo “End of Time”. Most of the songs performed that night were from her 2011 album, 4, with some throwbacks to her other hits like “Baby Boy” and “Crazy in Love.”
Beyoncé took several moments to genuinely thank the crowd for their continuous support. At one point she confidently asked the audience, “Twenty years from now, are y’all gonna say, ‘I was at that Beyoncé concert’?” She seemed to answer her own question as the memorable show progressed. One must admit that 2013 has felt like the “Year of Beyoncé” (strictly speaking to the pop culture realm) and to say that you were at her concert tomorrow or any day in the near future would be an automatic conversation starter.
The rest of her show felt like her declaration of being the current pop queen as she effortlessly sang and shimmied throughout the night. From the ultimate diva-dance song, “Freakum Dress” to the beautiful ballad “I Miss You,” the crowd was captured by the dynamic show and the raw emotion Beyoncé put into every song.
After belting out her hit “Halo,” Beyoncé thanked her band, dancers and the fans once again before gracefully disappearing backstage. Then in a moment’s notice a curtain that read “Fin” was drawn on the stage as the lights turned up and Drake’s ever-fitting “Girls Love Beyoncé” played as the crowd proceeded to exit the venue feeling exhausted but satisfied.