Review by Val Tapia
Photos Courtesy of RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR
Promoter: Live Nation (https://www.livenation.com/ )
Venue: State Farm Stadium (https://www.statefarmstadium.com/ )
Date: Thursday August 24th, 2023
Tour: Beyoncé‘s ‘Renaissance’ Tour
In some ways, the party had already started upon entering the parking lot at Cardinals Stadium in Glendale on Thursday August 24th to see Beyoncé‘s Renaissance tour.
Many fans (infamously known as the BeyHive) were dressed to kill (see what I did there KISS fans) in their best silver regalia to celebrate Virgo season– yes, even the subject of astrology gets a nod from Queen Bey. Everywhere I turned, I could see many happy faces among the roughly 40,000 people in attendance.
Really, it was like being in a dance club on Saturday night— but magnified many times over. Which I’m guessing was part of the plan on Beyoncé‘s part– she paid homage to “house music” during the roughly 150-minute set— 34 songs in total.
Despite the show’s one-hour late start (there wasn’t an opening act), generally speaking, headlining acts playing arenas and stadiums (with an opening act) for the most part go onstage around 9:00 p.m. anyway. Looking at it that way, it wasn’t too big a deal. The wait seemed to be worth it for the majority of the crowd.
Getting things started with Dangerously In Love 2 (a song originally by Destiny’s Child on the 2001 album Survivor) from her 2003 debut solo album, it immediately had the audience hooked from the get-go. Interestingly, the first 30 minutes of the set featured slower songs.
Frankly, that isn’t something I’ve seen with any other stadium show I’ve attended. Yet somehow, Beyoncé was able to pull it off— much to my surprise. I don’t think it’s off-base to say that most fans in the crowd wanted to immediately dance the night away (to quote Van Halen). Yet, they were okay with waiting a little bit to do just that. At least in the seated area where I was at.
Musically, Beyoncé took a chance by playing a whopping 14 out of the 16 songs from her latest album, 2022’s Renaissance. It shows that she’s committed to showing the audience what she’s made of today, not yesterday.
Some of the new songs played from that album include Cuff It, Heated, Alien Superstar, and America Has a Problem.
However, that doesn’t mean that she’s forgotten where she came from either. Throughout the show, there were plenty of moments where she paid respect to the trailblazing artists who came before her— via song and video. The most glaring example was her heartfelt shoutout to the late Tina Turner, who passed away in May.
Then of course, there are the “mashups”, if you will. The best one was arguably Break My Soul, which had a bit of Madonna’s 1990 classic Vogue. A definite showstopper in the set, and rightly so I might add.
With a show of this size and caliber, yes, there are bound to be some technical issues. This show was no exception.
Apparently, there was a sound issue that occurred during the aforementioned Alien Superstar. The next thing I knew, Beyoncé and the other dozen or so onstage quietly walked off the stage and the main stadium lights turned on. Needless to say, the audience wondered what happened.
After a 10-minute pause, they all returned and played the song again, this time in full.
Overall, I guess you could say that the Renaissance tour really celebrates the history of dance music credibly and respectfully. I think her fans sensed that immediately— which is why she has garnered a multi-generational fan base.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention perhaps the most memorable moment (for this writer) of the show. That would have to be when Beyoncé reminded the audience how grateful she is to be celebrating 25 years in music. Not to mention I would personally add— on a stadium level.
When it was all over, the BeyHive went home wanting more. I’m sure that’s how Bey intended it.
The final verdict? 3.5 out of five stars. A solid show overall.
Photos Courtesy of RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR, All Rights Reserved