Beyonce shuts down Commonwealth Stadium on Formation Tour
Edmonton, AB – Originally published May 21, 2016 – Albertan’s know what they’re in for every May Long Weekend. Rain or more rain. Sometimes Mother Nature will add a dash of snow for decoration. On May 20, the kick off of the coveted holiday-weekend and the day of Beyonce‘s Edmonton stop of her Formation World Tour, the weather couldn’t have been worse for an outdoor show.
Like clockwork, a cold 6 degrees mixed with bitter wind and rain. But that isn’t going to stop Queen Bey and it certainly won’t stop the Beyhive. We put on our parkas and our Timberlands, headed to Commonwealth Stadium and dealt with it. It’s Beyonce.
There were no Timbs or parkas for Beyonce and her dancers. Only leather or sequenced-bodysuits, lace-fronts, heels and leotards. It was fierce and it was fabulous. Opening the show with “Formation”, Beyonce and her dancers confidently marched onto the the stage in all black with bolero hats. Those. Hats.
Photo courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment
“Welcome to the Formation Tour,” Beyonce bellowed into the mic. “Did Ya’ll come here to slay? ‘Cause I came here to slay.” And oh did she slay. Completely unfazed and unbothered by the freezing temperature, Queen Bey owned Commonwealth Stadium for the next two hours.
With a 20-foot rotating LED screen behind her, Beyonce reminded us why she reigns supreme (as if we forgot). From the days of Destiny’s Child, to her debut album Dangerously in Love to her latest Lemonade. Strutting up and down the catwalk and hitting every mark to perfection, she dazzled us with “Crazy in Love,” “Flawless,” “End of Time,” “Yonce,” “Don’t Hurt Yourself” and more from her 30-plus song set.
Can we talk about Beyonce’s choreography? To dance her ass off and not miss a single note with those powerful vocals – it’s super-human. Every song was like a short-film. Even the dance breaks, when she wasn’t even singing, just rocking to Desiigner (“Panda”) or O.T. Genesis (“Cut it”). She was on fuego! And to refer Beyonce’s squad as “back-up” dancers just seems unnatural. They are the show, the whole package is immaculate.
The uptempo moments were flawless but it was the raw and unfiltered moments, when she was alone on stage, that left us shook. “Me, Myself and I,” “1+1” and “Rocket” – which she brilliantly transitioned into D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Feel)”. Beyonce proves her spectacular range and why she remains one of the greatest entertainers of all time.
Between costume changes, video-montages from Lemonade’s visuals illuminated the screen. Included was a fitting tribute to Prince, when the screen lit up in purple as “Purple Rain” echoed through the stadium (Bey also did a divine cover of “The Beautiful Ones” later on).
I don’t care who “Becky with the good hair” is. That’s none of my damn business and that’s what I love about Beyonce. The internet was up and arms when Lemonade strategically dropped the same week the Formation Tour about to kick-off. Beyonce still hasn’t said a word regarding the cheating rumours written all over the album. And you know what? She doesn’t have too. She just keeps it moving, without any interruptions to her grind.
Regardless of my opinion, it absolutely was the Lemonade show. Her entire set was on point, but songs from the new album seemed to stand out. “Sorry,” “All Night,” “Hold Up,” the country-inspired “Daddy Lessons” and the soulful “Freedom” were well received by the crowd, considering how new they were. Then again, it’s Beyonce. Even the vibe of the audience spoke to the new project. With the majority sporting Lemonade inspired outfits, including the rain jackets.
Ending the show with “Halo”, Beyonce finally submitted to the weather. “I have to say this is the coldest show I’ve ever done,” she gushed. “But it feels incredible.” By this time the rain had turned into a down-pour. While one would be miserable, she looked more effortlessly beautiful then ever.
We may have left soaking wet, we may have had to wait two hours just to catch a cab or the LRT, but we also left knowing that Beyonce blessed us with a performance of a lifetime.
Written by Rosa Jason for HipHopCanada
Photos courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment
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