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Beyonce, Mrs Carter Tour, Reviewed

L'Oréal Blackett is spellbound with Queen Bey at the Manchester Arena

Written by . Published on May 8th 2013.

Beyonce, Mrs Carter Tour, Reviewed

BEYONCÉ Giselle Knowles has adopted many aliases in her 20 year career.

She’s simply Bey to husband Jay Z, christened by her fans as Queen Bey and Beysus (yes, as in Jesus) and she often hides behind her feisty alter-ego Sasha Fierce.

Yet  now in  2013, for her sold-out world tour she defied feminist opposition and embraced her married name, rebranding as Mrs Carter – full time diva, business woman, wife and new mother.

I’m convinced Beyoncé, like Super Mario and his mushrooms, seemed to grow even stronger by thriving off of the collective power of the Beyhive sisterhood.  

Taking a superhero stance on the stage of the Manchester Arena for the first of three performances in the city, gone immediately were any selfish fears that Beyoncé wouldn’t return to fine form following the birth of Blue Ivy. 

I’ll tentatively admit, I like my Beyoncé a tad aggressive, some-what ‘man-hating’ and championing for the single and independent ladies - not devoted apron-wearing housewife as the tour title suggested.

Cue a great big resounding ‘as if’.  

Returning stronger, bolder and more agile like a well oiled diva android, Beyoncé  thundered on stage with what felt like a dose of concentrated vengeful force directed at the controversy that marked her return to the spotlight this year.

Forgotten was the Obama inauguration miming scandal, the unflattering pictures that marred her Superbowl performance, nor did she sing the song that divided opinion and angered some fans, Bow Down (Bitches).

Leading with hysteria inducing girl-power anthem Run The World, it was obvious that this was a show all about celebrating women. Surrounded by a supremely talented all female band, gorgeous dancers and a predominantly female audience, I could feel my oestrogen levels soar. I’m convinced Beyoncé, like Super Mario and his mushrooms, seemed to grow even stronger by thriving off of the collective power of the Beyhive sisterhood.  

I’m far from exaggerating, I did wonder whether we’d all have synchronised periods by the end.

Queen Bey and her court.Queen Bey and her court.

Channelling the divas that came and saw before her, Beyoncé danced with the vivacious energy of Tina Turner, entertained with the shrewd precision of Janet Jackson and sang with a voice so effortlessly brilliant, it was, during a rendition of I will Always Love You, reminiscent of the talent of the late Whitney Houston.

As the long standing poster  child of her own  brand modern-day feminism and a Chime for Change philanthropist, it was clear that Beyoncé was intent on making her usual statement of being strong, successful and sexy, unashamedly.

An integral part of such feminism though, means “dutty wining”, booty-shaking and writhing on a black piano all in the name of celebrating the female form. Think what you will, but it was all very empowering and performed with a jaunty athleticism that detailed Beyoncé’s well documented perilous work ethic.

Bey’s feminist values aside, the show was unarguably fierce.

There goes that ‘f’ word again.

Yet it’s the most fitting of descriptions of a show that impacted so hard it almost felt like a literal punch -in a good way.  If ever there were to be a masterclass in fierceness this was it. Changing through a various collection of figure-hugging leotards, 'Sasha Fierce’ made an appearance.  Energetic tracks Get Me Bodied, Freakum  Dress and Diva sparked arena wide bum wiggling from the audience.  

Throughout, the show was punctuated with anticipation building artistic films, narrated with Beyoncés life affirming messages that rendered the audience both to  rapturous applause and audible silences.

A veteran entertainer at just thirty one years old, the performance was so expertly choreographed that you’re almost challenged to look for a fault. There was none to witness, of course. Not a note off key, no missed steps, no booty shake out of time. Even the slow turn of her head was done with elegant showmanship.

In one breath-taking moment, Beyoncé soared over the crowed on a trapeze through a shower of gold like a mythical bird, leaving me to question what more could Queen Bey possibly do to top that – tonight and performances after?

It isn’t a wonder why she is loved throughout the world.

Taking time out to charm the crowd with her infectious giggle and ready everyone for “party time” in her husky Southern US accent, Bey was positively charming and manages to be great at everything without infuriating you with green-eyed jealousy.

Commanding the crowd to signal left to unworthy exes during song Irreplaceable, Beyoncé feels like your best friend. A girl's girl. The one you’re happy to see happy even if you're not.

The friend you wouldn’t mind swapping places with, mind.

Nonetheless, getting close to those in the priviledged seats to singFlaws And All,  Bey plucks at her supposed bingo wing, to remind us that she isn’t an infallible human being and thanks the crowd for “staying loyal” and “seeing past her flaws”.

The question whether Beyoncé should have done a tour without the release of  her fith album became progressively irrelevant. Singing the biggest hits from her remarkable career Crazy In Love, Single Ladies, Like A Boy, Halo and Survivor from her Destiny’s Child days, this tour felt less about single sales or her endless advertisement deals and more about her fans.

Even more so The Mrs Carter tour, for me, marks both an end and new beginning in Beyoncé’s life – a mark in her journey throughout womanhood and the notable end to the father-daughter-manager-client relationship with her dad, Matthew Knowles.

Following the performance of new single, Grown Woman, in an African motherland inspired ensemble, we are graced with a picture of Baby Blue in a concluding life-affirming “live your dream” visual display.

Then I understood.

Beyoncé as Mrs Carter, is still the same talented performer regardless of name-change or motherhood, yet now, a family woman, she has a daughter to inspire just as much as she has done the rest of womanity.

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