Beyoncé Slays the Formation World Tour

On Friday, Oct. 7 our lord and savior, Beyoncé, blessed New Jersey with her radiant presence. On this day “Queen Bey” came to East Rutherford’s Metlife Stadium and brought her Formation World Tour to an end.

The show kicked off at 8:30 p.m. with an opener from DJ Khaled and his impressive lineup of guests. During his set he brought out August Alsina, Remy Ma, DMX, Ja Rule, T.I., and more. Each guest did about two songs and with such a great lineup, really got the crowd excited for Beyoncé.

As Sia’s popular song “Cheap Thrills” faded out, the lights dimmed and Beyoncé’s stage began to move. Her stage was setup with an enormous rectangular screen, which was made up of several smaller screens, that towered over the crowds. The smaller individual screens all began to spin and flash images of Beyoncé while smoke filled the stage. Women appeared in all black with wide-set rimmed hats. The instrumental of “Formation” began and Beyoncé appeared at the center of the stage.

Something that impressed me was her unique ability to make a stadium concert feel like it was an intimate performance. This was shown while belting out empowering messages about loving one’s self and having the crowd repeatedly proclaim, “I slay!” She spoke to the crowd as a mother would speak to her child; she nurtured the crowd and then forced everyone to get up out of their seats, scream at the top of their lungs and, for three and a half hours, forget that they ever doubted their abilities to be something great. Self love was mandatory at the Formation World Tour and I’m sure no one left feeling as if they hadn’t sipped the self love Kool-Aid.

Beyonce WalkingThroughout my lifetime I’ve seen dozens of concerts, but none have genuinely shined like Beyoncé’s did. No, this concert did not shine literally because of the theatrics and flashy costumes involved, but because she thought about her audience and genuinely thought about what they wanted and needed to hear. She didn’t just perform her songs off of her previous album, Lemonade, which in my book would have been perfectly fine because that album is a triumph, but instead performed at least six songs off of each of her albums, including hits from her days with Destiny’s Child. “Baby Boy,” “Survivor,” “Crazy in Love,” “Me, Myself, and I,” “All Night,” “End of Time,” and more blared the speakers as thousands watched in awe.

One of the great things about her show was that it could have worked if it was stripped down merely to a stage, a mic, and just her. Her voice carried the show and if it were left to just the basics, it would have been just as entertaining and worthwhile. That is one of the main reasons that in my opinion, she is one of the greatest performers not only of our generation but of all time.

The night concluded with Kendrick Lamar rising from the floor to accompany Beyoncé on “Freedom.” The two migrated to the smaller stage at the end of the catwalk, which became a pool filled with water, and began to kick water at each other while they belted out “Freedom, freedom I can’t move. Freedom cut me lose!” She followed that with “End of Time” and her closing song, “Halo.”

As my friends and I pulled out of the parking lot of MetLife Stadium we sat in silence for a minute or two and thought about what we had just witnessed. I began to tear up talking about the fact that we just got to see Jay-Z sing “Drunk in Love” and how it was a life-changing moment (I’ve loved him for years and sobbed uncontrollably when he came on stage). We talked the whole ride home about how wonderful and inspiring it was, and Beyoncé should probably run for president. Mostly, we just talked about how happy we were that we impulsively bought tickets to see the last show of the Formation World Tour.

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