Holy guacamole, it has been a week and I still cannot deal with how AMAZE Beyonce's concert was. It was nothing short of a transcendental experience, and I urge anyone who can find tickets (the whole damn tour is sold out, naturally) to GO. RUN TO BEYONCE. Here's the blow-by-blow with some spoilers of how the first night of the Formation World Tour went for this Fab Feminist.
I came home from work two hours early on Wednesday (bc #priorities) and promptly began thrashing through my dress-up box for a pair of disco shorts. (I am an adult with a dress-up box and disco shorts and there is nothing you can do to stop me.) I had no luck with the shorts, so I switched to shirt dumping. I needed something VISIONARY and RELEVANT, goddammit. I found the latter, at least, in the form of a red Tabasco T-shirt my mom brought back from New Orleans. FLAWLESS. Why hadn't I thought of that first?
My girls pulled up in the driveway just as I was shimmying into my bootylicious bottoms, and I gotta say, they dressed to slay. After spending way too much time perfecting eyeliner and sippin' that bub, we hit the road, stopped to pee once and arrived 15 minutes after the show was scheduled to start. OH MAN, was I stressing in that car. We sat in traffic within eyeshot of the stadium for practically 20 minutes! It was sheer torture. Some nice dude with a yard let us park for $20, though, so I guess we managed to dip out of that bumper-to-bumper bullshit quicker than some. Bey must have gotten the memo that traffic in Miami was killer with a capital "K," too, bc she held the show for a whopping hour and fifteen minutes waiting for the crowd to arrive. Apparently DJ Khaled opened, but I didn't notice. Oops.
It should not go unmentioned at this point that every single person who was in attendance at Marlins Park was dressed to slay. Everybody was feeling themselves and feeling Beyonce and channeling their inner fab fucking female, and they were LIVING. NYFW has nothing on the Church of Bey.
The whole time we were waiting for the show to start, we theorized about what this giant, white, glowing cube on the stage could possibly do. I mean, it took up MOST of the stage, and it was easily 100 feet tall. Around 8:45 p.m., the lights (and cube) finally faded to black, and everyone lost their minds. Fog swirled, the huge cube started to SPIN, and the cube's white lighting started to fade in and out, slowly at first and then faster and faster, until the flickering white began to overlap with video clips from "Lemonade." Some of the images extended over two sides of the cube, while a third side was illuminated with something different.
This ethereal electronic music that had been playing throughout climaxed, faded quickly, and — a beat after the lights went down — was replaced by the haunting bwaang of "Formation." As the lights bounced back on with each bwaang, a squad of dancers emerged from stage left and marched to the front of the stage, bobbing their heads in unison. They wore black leotards with Edwardian shoulders, and perched on each of their crowns was a boat hat just like Bey's from the "Formation" video. The only difference was that the brims on these were literally bigger than they were, extending past their shoulders; we could see them clearly all the way from our nosebleeds. Just as everyone was wondering, "So wait is that B in the front, or," two spotlights illuminated Beyonce from behind, standing stage right, head down in her own huge hat, hands on her hips. At the exact same time, the cube illuminates, introducing a Godzilla-sized Beyonce to the crowd. It is the single most-powerful thing I have ever seen. "Miami, Florida. Welcome to the Formation Tour," are the first words out of her mouth. The crowd goes nuts, and then above 36,000 screaming voices, she beckons, "If you came to slay tonight, say, 'I slay.' If you slay everyday, say, 'I slay.' If you came to have a good time, say, 'I slay!'" It was chilling, y'all! Beyonce is def the most powerful woman in the world.
The fates were definitely in our favor that night because three songs in, our friends, who were two sections down and to the left, texted us to say the seats in front of them were still open. Confident that ninety minutes and three songs in, nobody in their right mind would be showing up NOW to see Beyonce, we chasse-ed our way down to section 11 and acted like we owned it. We missed one of my faves, "Mine," in the process, but being half the distance we were before was absolutely worth it.
I can't even call Beyonce's concert a concert, because to call it a concert just doesn't do it justice. To put it in the words of my friend Tiana, who saw the show herself two days later in Tampa, Florida, "I'm still trying to comprehend the entire production (yes, production — because that was not a concert. That was literally a magnificent production of art, body, soul, earth, fire, water and wind.)" Everything about that show was unbelievable; the lighting design, the innovative choreography, the minimalist set that blew our minds. Tiana isn't just throwing around some mumbo-jumbo spiritual shit, either; that show literally incorporated fire, water, and wind, and it took place on a goddamn baseball field. Bey's hair billowed magnificently throughout the entire performance. "Girls" opened with gratuitous pyrotechnics. "Freedom" was danced on a satellite stage flooded with a few inches of water. It was such a detail-oriented, visually surprising performance, and I'm calling it now: Beyonce is winning the Grammy for Best Rock Performance with "Don't Hurt Yourself." That song, in case you haven't heard it, sounds like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Beyonce had a three-parent love child. It was meant to be performed live, and I am so fucking glad it was. B brought this raw, terrifying, ferocious anger to that performance, and goddamn, goddamn, goddamn, I am glad I'm not in Jay Z's shoes. Beyonce put on the show of the century. She played every single song you could have wanted her to play and she gave us all enough closure that an encore was not expected or necessary. WHO DOES THAT? Beyonce does, because Beyonce runs this motha. Now go scalp some tickets!