If you're already rolling your eyes you might want to skip this post.
I've always had a special place in my heart for her since we are roughly the same age, both Virgos and enjoy taking glam to one step above what the situation might warrant. I always knew her concerts were amazing and halfheartedly tried to see her last summer on the Mrs. Carter World Tour but it never happened.
But then she dropped that album in December and shit got real. I HAD to be in her presence. I told myself I was going to see her next tour no matter what. And when the On the Run tour was announced there was no question that I would give her all my money (up to $125) so I could bask in her glow in person (from more than a football field length away).
To prepare myself I began to abstain from all things Knowles-Carter-related about a month before the show: no music, no tour gifs, no Buzzfeed lists, nothing. I needed to become a temporary born-again Beyonce virgin before the honeymoon.
The day before the show my uterus had some plans of its own but I literally shut that shit down using willpower and verbal abuse. I can't be bothered with such corporeal nonsense during such a spiritual experience. My uterine lining was literally too scared to come out of my body.
Next I gathered an appropriate outfit. I was not there to peacock around and distract from the star, I was there to sweat and act a fool and walk a mile from the hotel to get to the Georgia Dome in comfortable shoes.
|Pretty much what I look like all the time.|
I also didn't want to have my weak, mortal body disrupt the show so after a few cocktails with dinner I abstained from all liquids about an hour before the show started. I could not allow my bladder to interrupt the night.
We finally got to our far away seats and waited for the Queen. For almost an hour. I guess when you're royalty time is of no concern to you. I was pretty sure I was going to cry at the mere sight of her so waiting probably worked out better for me as it calmed my nerves a bit and we could find the wifi signal.
While we waited "This is not real life" was displayed on the large screens in case we were confused about this being an alternate universe of magnificence. Finally the lights went down and my life finally had purpose. Over artistically edited video "Move That Dope" started playing and I knew they were going to come HARD tonight.
Then the screens parted and they made their entrance it was everything you would hope.
Screaming, vibrating, earth-shattering Beyness and a very large smoke machine.
Oh and Jay Z.
I kinda forget that Jay Z is JAY FUCKING Z.
We started with 'Bonnie and Clyde' and followed their "relationship" throughout their respective discographies - hot outlaw sex on a platter, diva power, hustling, more nasty fucking, some religious stuff, then they got married, then someone *cough* cheated, now they've forgive each other again as 'On the Run' reminded us that they are the ultimate outlaws and Bey looks way hotter in a ski mask than I ever could.
They did not disappoint. Not for one second did I feel like I could have gone to the bathroom.
If you can imagine the excitement of the Superbowl half time show except they scrubbed away all the sweetness (Kelly) and light (Michelle) and threw in some Tarantino then you have On The Run.
It's like every Beyonce gif of perfection came to life for 2.5 hours of non stop hair-tossing, ass-shaking, dirty, gritty, boss bitch action. If you want to know why your fun little Bootylicious girl is now the queen of the world then this is it.
You don't think as a grown-ass human being that you will scream for another woman's ass when it appears on a giant jumbotron screen but you will, my friend. You will.
I wish that I had been closer so I could have really lost my shit amongst my fellow superfans where it would have been normal. Instead I was so high up that I was afraid to dance in case I fall straight down to meet my doom or embarrass the people taking selfies.
|So close yet so far...|
Say what you will about these two but I have mad amounts of respect for their artistic vision. Collaborating with your spouse - who happens to be the best in the world a at what they do - to create the ultimate fantasy of love, death, sex and adventure and do it successfully is a pretty legendary thing.
It's the apex of storytelling and gangsta shit backed with some fuck hard bass beats.
At the end they let us know that play time was over and that "This is real life" as their secret home moves were revealed on the jumbotron. Wedding clips and Blue Ivy giggles and matching tattoos and family stuff played on screen while the royal couple stood on stage arm in arm while Beyonce sang Halo to the baby and we all cried.
I don't give a fuck how carefully it was all orchestrated you can't look at someone's baby and not feel like part of the family. It was worth my movie ticket price. Whether you paid $100 or $1000 you got your money's worth.
So all 50,000 of us dried our tears (and put slippers back on if necessary) and made the walk back to the hotel safe in the knowledge that baby Blue Ivy is angel and that your life is forever changed from watching Yonce grind on some chairs.
I may have been spiritually complete but after not having had any water in five hours and screaming in hysteria for most of that I was physically depleted and possibly already hungover. I was not able to form coherent sentences and may have even been in a trance. I'm not sure.
What I AM sure of is that at about 4 in the morning all of my corporeal needs returned with a vengeance. I could only hold our for so long.
Not only did I exhaust myself, I exhausted my camera battery taking shitty pictures and video that are useless. This is totally fine because I've spent the last week rewatching the tour from OTHER people's clips and pictures. But not any show - the ATLANTA show. I ain't here for your shit, Miami.
I strongly recommend that you listen to the The Read's recap of the concert because it is 700 times more entertaining than mine even if you hate Beyonce. I listened to it twice because they GET IT. I also listened to their review of Beyonce's album release in December again because I can't get enough. Nostalgia and all.
If you haven't read the numerous lists out on the internet yet here are some of my personal highlights from the show:
- Those wind machines aren't just for show. After Beyonce finished a set and we waited for Jay Z to perform I could see Beyonce bend down on the side of the stage outside of the spotlight and wipe off sweat with towel after towel and throw them into the audience. Sometimes people bring her towels just for this reason. Don't nobody ever say she don't love her fans.
- I love when Bey gets angry and starts cussing (The Read mentions this too). Nothing brings me greater joy than hearing sweet little Beyonce screams "MOTHERFUCKER" while pretending to rob a bank. Or when she gets indignant and yells "I'M RICH!" or gestures to her fine ass while talking shit about another woman that's trying to take her man. Ring the alarm, indeed.
- The bevy of costumes was spectacular as to be expected (read more on each outfit on her Tumblr like here with Project Runway alum Michael Costello or this Diesel outfit), but one of my favorites was her American flag train that she closed the show with. It was actually a shirt tied around her waist (so badass) but it felt beyond luxurious and of course looked marvelous billowing in front of the wind machine. Bitch knows how to hit her mark.
- Flawless was on of my favorite live numbers. Gahtdamn. She wore a Versace bodysuit and a helmet with a gold mohawk. I have no words. It made no sense and yet all the sense in the world.
- This fine couple really knows how to do other people's music. Beyonce did Lauryn Hill's Ex-Factor while we sang every word and then we all lost our collective shit with a Michael Jackson sample in Love on Top. She sang Justin Timberlake's part of Holy Grail better than he did. Jay Z rapped a bit of Bun B's verse in Big Pimpin and *I* lost my shit but I'm just incredibly partial to that bit, you illiterate sonofabitch.
- I go crazy for Beyonce's over-the-top, sometimes-syncopated dancing ESPECIALLY when she does street dance moves. But when she dropped the Nae Nae IN Atlanta during 'Diva' people went bananas. By people I mean ME.
|See the full gif set here|
- After some drama with my original Bey buddy I had to find someone to take my extra ticket the night before the show. Fortunately my friends and the Knowles-Carter angel posse found a replacement. My new date was only moderately fond of Beyonce but was very understanding when I ignored him for three hours during the show. But in the end I made a new friend. We have a special bond no one can break. On the Run brings people together, y'all.
- Partly what made this show so much fun to watch is that you could tell they were having fun too. No sourpusses allowed. We're here to party. Drunk In Love in Atlanta - they were so cute right at the end.
|All images in this post by Rob Hoffman unless otherwise noted. More of his ATL pics here.|
We all laughed but we were all screaming just like him on the inside. Bravo to you, sir. You said what we all felt anyway.
The HBO documentary of the concert is coming in September so for all you closet Yonce fans reading (I KNOW you're out there) you can witness the event too.
I'll be watching it nightly before bed until Blue Ivy's concert footage leaks.