In Concert: Beyoncé at Commonwealth Stadium
By Stephanie McComb
As my friend Sterlin recently said, “This isn’t 2006 Beyoncé.”
Beyoncé’s Formation Tour began with rotating images of a raw, edgy Beyoncé and a black raven on a rotating screen, setting a somewhat ominous tone for “Formation,” the first song performed at the concert. She and her dancers performed in Victorian Goth New Orleans inspired costumes, matching the aesthetic of the music video. She continued on to “Sorry,” an explicit and powerful song about the pain and rage that come with the suffering due to infidelity – the scandalous theme of the album, “Lemonade.”
Although she also played more joyous classic pop songs like “Crazy in Love,” and “Baby Boy,” (and a powerful tribute to Prince with “Purple Rain”), it was no coincidence that she performed “Survivor,” “Independent Women,” and “Run the World,” which were older popular songs celebrating women’s empowerment.
During this kick-ass performance, she also displayed candid images and videos of her family in tender moments. This soft imagery was complemented by inspirational mini-speeches about the importance of the relationship with oneself, exemplifying her maturity, as this communicated the complexities of love, family, and relationships.
During this performance, we learned that Beyoncé is not just a bubble gum pop star that sang “Single Ladies,” and other catchy tunes of the late 1990s and 2000s. She opened us up to a deep and self-revealing, yet fierce character. This is not 2006 Beyoncé; this is an incredibly strong, enduring, empowered badass Beyoncé.