Thankfully last night was a school night, so there was no repeat of my drunken Jake Bugg antics and I could actually take in all of the audio-visual assault that is Beyonce’s Mrs Carter World Tour.
First up, I managed to catch a bit of X Factor winner Sam Bailey’s support set – which was largely uneventful save for a few encouraging whoops and cheers from the crowd when she hit the high notes. Naturally Sam was made up to be supporting Beyonce, and modestly conceded that she ‘would never be as good’ as the US superstar.
After a break of about 45 minutes Beyonce exploded onto the stage and spent the next hour and a half proving Sam right – delivering the kind of masterclass in stagecraft and charisma that puts her in a different league to not only X Factor warblers but any current female pop star. The fact Beyonce’s set included nods to Donna Summer (‘I Feel Love’) and Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston (‘I Will Always Love You’) tells you exactly where Beyonce think she stands in the pantheon of greats.
Predictably for a woman who likes to sometimes style herself as ‘Sasha Fierce’, the general theme of the show as a whole was the familiar ‘empowerment of women’ motif – which was littered throughout the many ‘costume change’ video interludes. This played well with Beyonce’s trademark sassy attitude and performance – whether she’s strutting across the stage or doing a seductive tease-dance in silhouette, she exudes femininity and confidence.
The show kicked off with ‘Run The World (Girls)’ and ended with ‘Halo’, but rather than being a greatest hits set the real standouts were taken from Beyonce’s latest self-titled album. ‘***Flawless’, ‘Blow’, ‘Partition’, ‘Haunted’, ‘Drunk In Love’, ‘Heaven’ and ‘XO’ all got an airing in one way or another, and all sounded like they had been part of the Beyonce canon for years.
Pics (sorry I was a bit far away!):