“ Beyonce's world tour in support of her 'I Am Sasha Fierce' album. „
I was lucky enough to win tickets to see Beyonce perform at the 02 Arena, London on November 15th 2009, as part of the Trident chewing gum promotion.
Coming from Scotland, Beyonce never tours here so I never thought that I would have the opportunity to see her live, despite being such a big fan. However, desperate to see the lady herself, my friend and I travelled down to London and we were not disappointed by her show.
Everything about it was fabulous, the costumes, the all-female band (girl power!!), the lights, the video sequences, the dancing and of course Beyonce's incredible voice.
The 200,000 crowd went crazy as Jay-z joined his wife on stage to perform 'Crazy in Love' at the start of the show and this was soon followed by another unexpected surprise guest, Kanye West who performed 'Ego' from the I am Sacha Fierce album.
The night just got better and Beyonce treated us to some old favourites from her Destiny's Child days such as 'Bootylicious', 'Survivor', 'Bugaboo' and 'independent women pt. 2'.
Performing hits such as 'Listen', 'If I were a Boy' and 'Irreplaceable', as well as recent songs from her latest album, Beyonce treated the crowd to 2 hours of amazing songs and incredible dancing, demonstrating the true professional that she is.
Her voice was spot on and note perfect at all times and she really made the effort to interact with the crowd which is something that many international artists fail to do when visiting British shores.
However, the highlight of the night was at the end of the show when Beyonce performed a stunning version of Halo, which she dedicated to the late Michael Jackson, whilst meeting some of the crowd along the front row.
This was the best concert I have ever been to and Queen B herself definitely confirmed that she is the ultimate diva.
ive always been a fan of beyonce ever since she was in the band destinys child and she had always been an icon of mine and think she seems like a genuily lovely lady and not a diva at all even though she has every right to be because she is such a huge star.
i got this dvd for christmas and thought that it would have more content than it actually had. it does have a cd and a dvd and the cd is just a recording of a live performance on her tour. the dvd is a good dvd and shows beyonce at her best, she is such a great performer and singer as her alter ego sasha fierce. it was just a shame that the performance was on television also so i really neednt have wasted the money on buying this cd. saying that for any beyonce fan, who likes a good keepsake and memory it definately is a must buy.
I have never really "got" Beyoncé - I found her band Destiny's Child a little on the dull side - although to be fair when they were at their peak I was in my thirties and embracing motherhood so songs like "Bootylicious" didn't really speak to me. I was very much aware of their lead singer however, and when she released the solo single, "Crazy in Love" I have to say I was impressed.
Born in Houston, Texas in 1981, 28 year old Beyoncé Knowles had been groomed for stardom from early childhood and her mother and father have been closely involved in her career, with her mother in particular famous for designing the costumes Destiny's Child wore and her father acting as manager of the band.
~~Chew on This~~
I wouldn't normally have considered going to see Beyoncé live - my daughter had asked if she could go but a quick look at the tour dates yielded no gigs in Scotland. The closest venue was Newcastle but with tickets costing £90, I had to say no.
However not long afterwards my daughter spotted a prominent promotion with Trident Chewing Gum offering free tickets to see Beyoncé perform at the O2 and asked if she could enter. I felt decidedly negative about the whole thing but not wishing to burst her bubble, agreed to her purchasing 3 packets of the gum and sending off one entry although I did warn her she might not win.
We heard nothing more until just a couple of weeks before the date of the concert - with an e-mail landing in her inbox informing her she had won tickets. And so, after booking train tickets and a hotel, we found ourselves heading to the O2 on Sunday 15th November - incredibly the hotel and train coming in at £90 - the cost of one ticket at Newcastle.
The "I Am" tour promotes the album Beyoncé released in late 2008, entitled "I Am Sasha Fierce", which explored another side of Knowles which she named "Sasha Fierce" - she calls this her "warrior" side. However she includes tracks from her Destiny's Child days and earlier solo hits in the set list too.
The O2 concerts she performed, including this one, were all filmed for a future DVD release.
You have to admire an artist who can open a show with her biggest hit - most performers tend to keep the big songs for the encore, but not Beyoncé - she chose to open with "Crazy in Love" and from the moment the crowd heard her voice, everyone was on their feet dancing.
What I was only vaguely aware of in the past was how good a dancer Knowles is - but on this song, and many others she quite simply danced better than Madonna. An added treat was her husband, Jay-Z, coming onstage to rap his part of "Crazy in Love" as his wife worked the audience up with her singing and dancing.
This opening song was quite simply amazing - and I kept thinking "how is she going to top this?" but she managed it several times on the night.
There were several costume changes - the first had her wearing a mock bridal gown as she sang her heart out on a medley of "Ave Maria" and Sarah McLachlan's "Angel". If anyone is in any doubt about Knowles' vocal prowess, this blew them away - her voice was quite simply outstanding. She even managed to sing a couple of lines of the classical "Ave Maria" (the main one being her own song with the same name) and was incredible.
Gold sequins seemed to be the main theme of her costumes - several of them used an inordinate number to add to Beyoncé's lustre. Other costumes included a glow in the dark bikini, an armour suit which was worn as she performed "If I Were a Boy" and a black and silver sequined number for the finale. Thierry Mugler designed the costumes for this tour, along with the lighting and provided ideas for the choreography too.
There is absolutely no denying that Knowles is stunning to look at too - she has legs most women would die for, and the word "bootylicious" could have been coined specially for her such is the perfection of her lower body. Her costumes were designed to show off her best assets but she also has a face that draws you in and a smile that, for me anyway, seemed to light up the O2 all on its own.
Video clips were used to cover for the costume changes - some of these were effective - such as the one featuring people trying to do the "Single Ladies" dance - others were less so - there was one which tried to show Beyoncé morphing into Sasha Fierce which was technically well made but all a little slick for me.
Acrobatics were used during "Baby Boy" when Knowles was raised up into the air to sing. She can't do the trapeze stuff Pink does but it was visually very impressive nonetheless. She then moved down through the audience to a smaller stage which was "closer" to the audience and seemed in her element as she spent time engaging with her fans - at one point asking a fan to tell her her name before singing the Destiny's Child track "Say My Name". I can imagine that fan will be telling his grandchildren about that!
She then asked the audience to participate in singing "Irreplaceable" with her - something my daughter did wholeheartedly, along with the vast majority of the crowd.
Knowles also took time to ensure her band were put in the spotlight. The all female band were extremely good - and even her backing singers got a song of their own. The band remained on the main stage at all times, but her dancers followed her onto her "second stage" - at one point one of them imitating her very well on a dance interlude as the lady herself was changing costumes.
Another guest performer was Kanye West, who brought the house down with his rap on "Ego".
The set was ever changing - in an arena as vast as the O2, the two huge screens at the side of the stage were never going to be big enough so for much of the show we could see Beyoncé 20 feet high on the screen behind her. Stairs were used several times for Knowles to enter and exit - they rose as if from nowhere to produce our star or take her away during the costume changes.
The lighting was fantastic too- at one point the O2 seemed to turn red inside as Knowles performed "Video Phone" for instance.
For me the highlight of the show was when Beyoncé performed "At Last" and "Listen" together. Shimmering in a stunning gold sequined gown, she referenced Barack Obama's election victory in the video playing behind her as she sang "At Last", and clips from her performance in the movie "Dreamgirls" were shown as she sang "Listen". Both of these songs enabled Knowles to display how good a singer she is - and how good she is at performing a song for an audience without the need to dance. That she is so good at both performance styles is a testament to her talent.
The show came to an end with "Single Ladies" which had the entire arena dancing, and "Halo", which incorporated a tribute to Michael Jackson. Once again Knowles got a little closer to her audience by finding someone who was celebrating their birthday and singing "Happy Birthday" specially for them. Finally she delivered a speech to her fans thanking them for their support and promising to always give them the best she could.
This is a slick, expensive and well thought out show - and I can see why the tickets weren't cheap now. Everything - from the costumes to the lighting - has money written all over it and Knowles has managed to deliver a fantastic 2 hour show and it would be churlish to pick too many holes in it.
The interaction with the crowd was good, if a little over-rehearsed - however it's worth me mentioning I am a total cynic and this was not an observation my daughter shared.
I learned much about the lady in the two hours I shared her company - she is a grafter who gets out with her dancers and works as hard as they do. She is an excellent role model for young girls as she shows how far talent and grace can take you - she really is one classy lady and I'm pleased my daughter admires her.
She comes across very, very well - she can dance, she can sing, she can interact with an audience and all the while she comes across as an incredibly sincere, humble and likeable person.
She is a singer and performer at the very peak of her game and I consider myself incredibly privileged to have been able to see her on this tour - all thanks to my daughter and three packets of Trident chewing gum.