Beyonce shuts down Superdome in New Orleans show


NEW ORLEANS, LA – SEPTEMBER 24: Beyonce performs during the Formation World Tour at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, September 24, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Daniela Vesco/Parkwood Entertainment)

Sam Ergina, Arcade Editor

As Beyoncé walked onto the stage, the familiar, eerie introduction to “Formation” echoed around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Local legend Big Freedia joined her on stage, telling the queen to slay. As Beyoncé states in her New Orleans themed track, it’s what she does. 

Before Beyoncé came on stage, the show showed signs of losing steam. While this stop on the Formation World Tour was set to start at 7:30 p.m., those in attendance were waiting in their seats for almost two hours.

The sole interruption came from a mediocre set by DJ Khaled. The producer known for shouting his own name played some top 40 rap hits from the past few years and “All I Do Is Win” twice before exiting the stage as suddenly as he had appeared.

The crowd did not seem impressed and there was still no sign of Yonce. If the point of the opener was to lower the insanely high expectations for this show, it was unnecessary.

Beyoncé was flawless.

Her singing rang through the stadium with virtually perfect pitch, whether she was standing still, or simultaneously getting down alongside her back up dancers. The stage also featured an enormous box that would rotate, project videos, or break apart into other props for the stage, like when it’s bottom corner opened to reveal the set with the pole dancing from the “Partition” music video that then shifted into the middle of the stage.

Beyoncé’s setlist consisted of most of her hits throughout the artist’s 20-year career, with a focus on her most recent album, “Lemonade.” Songs from the album were introduced with their accompanying clips from the visual album that streamed on HBO earlier this year. “Freedom” was preceded by a moving compilation of what appeared to be home videos from Beyoncé’s life and Blue Ivy’s early childhood.

Her set flowed seamlessly between slower numbers like “1+1” and “Me, Myself and I” and the hard hitting dance tracks like “Run the World (Girls)” and “Party.” One great transition was the slower, sensual “50 Shades of Grey” soundtrack version of “Crazy in Love” that faded out of its first chorus, switching into the trumpet blaring introduction of the original track.

Despite a variety of song styles to switch between, not to mention four to five different costumes and stage sets, there never seemed to be a lull in the performance. The biggest break came in the form of a Prince tribute towards the end of the show. “Purple Rain” played as the Superdome lit up with thousands of phone flashlights swaying back and forth. It was a beautiful scene to commemorate the late icon and a clear inspiration of hers.

Beyoncé came and conquered on Saturday night. With incredible vocals, visuals and stage presence, the performer proved why she is on top.

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