Beyonce is a force to be reckoned with and she certainly proves it in her live performances!
Bow down to the queen. When Beyonce commands your attention, you listen and hang on her every word and when I saw Beyonce during her Formation World Tour back in 2016, I can assure you, she does just that.
Beyonce released her album I am…Sasha Fierce in 2008 and birthed her alter ego of the same name. Sasha was an outlet for Beyonce to be an aggressive, provocative performer; a persona separate to Beyonce but now, Beyonce doesn’t identify as Sasha anymore. Her 2013 self-titled release Beyonce was a way of her waving goodbye to Sasha and now allowing herself to be a sexually liberated and free performer and this certainly hasn’t been to Beyonce’s detriment.
Beyonce is an undeniable icon and seeing her perform completely transformed what I expect from a live performance now; she has set a standard that no star of our generation will ever reach. A ticket to a Beyonce show doesn’t grant admission to a mere concert, it’s admission to an experience. Her groundbreaking 2016 album Lemonade is a musical landmark and changed the way we listen and receive music. It’s charged with politics and power and this is injected into every performance through her visuals, costuming and choreography.
At her show at Wembley Stadium, her visuals are mesmerising yet shouts a message so powerful. The clips that include people of colour represent all of those voices desperate to be heard; Beyonce makes you listen to them with intent. She also bares her soul in the clips that include her husband, Jay-Z and the rare glimpses of her children and she begs you to accept her at her most vulnerable.
During the performance, she sports braids, a celebratory nod to her African heritage and a symbol of her power and success as a black woman. Empowerment radiates from her and you can’t help but feed off of it. She also changes costume five times during the show and, despite all outfits being a different variation of a bodysuit and thigh-high boots, you don’t care because it’s Beyonce. She oozes sex appeal in red, figure hugging latex, demands attention in a black and gold military inspired ensemble and dazzles in glittering white, like an angel sent to bless us all.
However, it is Beyonce’s 2018 Coachella performance that changed the game for live performances. It was simply a cultural reset. Beyonce made history that day by not only being the first African-American woman to headline the Coachella Festival, she also put on the best live performance our generation will ever know. Those who weren’t so lucky to be there in person could see her performance via a YouTube livestream or can see it in the Netflix documentary ‘Homecoming’. The performance was nothing short of a spectacle, politically charged and filled with power and emotion. She pays tribute to black culture and feminism explicitly on the main stage by incorporating a full African-American marching band and majorette dancers, sampling songs traditionally played at historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and celebrating black womanhood and solidarity by reuniting with her old Destiny’s Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Nicknamed ‘Beychella’, she dominated the festival and smashed records in true Beyonce fashion. She amassed 458,000 simultaneous viewers and 41 million viewers in total from around the world, making it the most viewed live-streamed festival performance ever.
Beyonce leads a revolution of female domination and paves the way for the female artists that follow. She is a force to be reckoned with and a force the world is in dire need of – a powerful, successful black woman that provides a platform for the voices that we all need to hear and listen to, particularly in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. She allows these voices to be heard loud and clear through her live performances and Beyonce will never silence them.
The opportunity to see Beyonce live is not one you pass up, however nobody knows when she will be back to grace us with her formidable presence so anyone who needs to get their Beyonce fix should watch ‘Homecoming’ on Netflix and listen to the live album with the same title. Seeing a live performance, whether it be in the flesh or through a screen, is enough to make you realise that she really is our Queen and we have no choice to bow down.
Check out a recent live performance by Beyonce below: