Reporting Sara Pelissero
In case it wasn’t already abundantly clear, this is Beyonce’s world — and we’re just living in it.
Anyone who was still on the fence about that statement left the Xcel Energy Center Thursday night completely convinced.
As she’s shown us time and again, Beyonce simply oozes entertainment. It’s what she was born to do. Beyond the singing, the dancing and the costumes — oh, the costumes — what’s at the heart of the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour is her fans. And yes, I mean both human and electric.
Early in the show, after belting out “End of Time,” Queen Bey took a moment to thank her loyal worker bees and the city of St. Paul for welcoming her with open arms.
“I don’t take it for granted,” she said to a screaming audience. “I know it’s a gift. I want to give you everything I have.”
And boy, did she.
Using a mix of fully edited videos on several surrounding screens, pyrotechnics, confetti canons and incredibly sharp dancers (ranging from animator to ballerina), Beyonce took the audience on a ride that flowed effortlessly from one song to the next. She rarely took a moment to catch her breath — even between those magnificent costume transformations that seemed to leave the audience breathless.
Kicking off the show with one of her biggest power anthems, “Run the World (Girls),” it set the scene perfectly for the theme that followed — the Queen’s speech to her royal subjects, if you will. With an eight-piece band and a trio of backup singers made up completely of women, Beyonce’s message of empowerment, confidence and love was well received.
“Remember who you are; you are the queen,” Beyonce stated boldly in a video message, before launching into a musical mash-up of “If I Were a Boy,” set to the undertones of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.”
Though the message and the movements signified our confident ruler, the most refreshing moments came from genuine hints of the real B — a break in a song to take it all in, closing her eyes and smiling, knowing these are the moments she’ll always cherish or the ear-to-ear grin that spread across her beautifully glowing face while leaning down to sing with some of her youngest fans in attendance.
For her, this is her kingdom.
We learned in her recent HBO documentary that Beyonce is a businesswoman who knows what she wants. That means she’ll take the time to ensure her finished product fits her vision to a T. Thankfully for us, that means two hours of a non-stop, energetic performance that’s worth every penny.
Not to say there weren’t several tender moments of the show, as well. From atop a grand piano in a full sequined gorgeous blue pantsuit, Beyonce bared her soul during her powerful ballad of “1+1,” a song for her husband, Jay-Z. And she ended her set with an emotional tribute to one of her heroes, Whitney Houston. A bright white light encircled an angelic looking Mrs. Carter as she sang the opening of “I Will Always Love You,” completely a capella. In a moment of flawless transition, Beyonce moved straight into “Halo” to close the show.
She gives credit where credit’s due — taking her final seconds on stage to acknowledge her powerhouse band and booming back-up vocalists and to thank the crew who make it all possible. Then she gives one last look before disappearing into the darkness — most likely, taking her first real break of the evening.
After all, it’s not easy running the world, especially in 6-inch heels.