Beyoncé sparkles at first night of DC Renaissance stop

The music and cultural icon is on her first tour since 2018

Beyoncé is inarguably the definition of a superstar. Part of that ascent has been her documented dedication to perfection in everything she does. Whether it’s her Coachella performance, an other-worldly cube on her previous tour, or the surprise album drops, Mrs. Carter does not miss a step.

Beyoncé has added to that record of immaculate offerings with her latest trek, the Renaissance World Tour. Even before Queen Bey takes the stage, her detail is apparent. Rather than your typical black stage lights, these very-lights are encased in a shiny chrome. Silver is the color palate of the album for which the tour is named after.

When she took the stage at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland right at 9 pm, she arose from the stage in an elegantly-appointed evening gown to demonstrate her vocal agility. Beyoncé is perhaps the best voice to sing R&B music who has ever lived. Period. The influences of vocal legends is apparent. No more so on this night than Bey’s slow-burning tribute to the late Tina Turner, with “River Deep, Mountain High.”

It was if Mrs. Carter took the first half hour to say, “Yes, I’ll out-sing the best of them. Now we’re gonna break it down the rest of the night.”

And break it down she did. The second segment focused heavily on Beyoncé’s latest album. With a futuristic metallic theme, she powered through “I’m that Girl,” fan-favorite “Alien Superstar,” and the recently-viral “Cozy.”

Speaking of viral, Beyoncé kicked off the so-called “Motherboard” segment with the TikTok-trending “Cuff It.” “Energy” had the crowd pulsating at one. (Literally, my cement-floored section was undulating. A freaky sensation.) FedEx became the biggest rave anyone there had ever attended.

The crowd was never louder than when Mrs. Carter’s daughter Blue Ivy joined in with the dancers for “Diva” and “Run the World (Girls).” All the preteen had to do was wave for the crowd to reach deafening levels. As Blue Ivy exited the stage, Queen Bey turned into Mama Carter as she beamed lovingly and full of pride at her daughter.

The stage followed the 2020s trend of large-scale 8K OLED video walls flanking the entirety of the stage. (Looking at you, Taylor Swift.) but with a living porthole in the center. A screen cutout moved forward and back as needed. At times, the screen revealed Beyoncé’s live band, atop disco-mirrored risers. Clearly an aesthetic callback to her Coachella Homecoming triumph.

We’d be here all night if I tried to describe every moment of spectacular transcendence in the Renaissance show. And I might spoil some surprises for readers that have managed to avoid the social media moments from the tour. There’s dancing robots, a battlebot looking thing, myriad costume changes, and a few genuine surprises.

About two thirds through the night, Beyoncé put the dance-pop rave to rest and returned to the raw power of her R&B vocals. She nearly stopped down the night as she handed “Love on Top” entirely to the audience, who, 60,000 strong, were miraculously on pitch for two full minutes. And we all went “Crazy in Love” for her band as after the seminal hit, each musician soloed. There’s even a horn section on this run.

Be warned; there’s no “Single Ladies” or “Halo.” But having seen the show, they wouldn’t fit. It would be gratuitous in this tour that so perfectly balance’s Bey’s musical evolution. And, savvy businesswoman that she is, it will be an EVENT of viral proportions if and when those songs return on a future tour.

As the night ended in glittering silver confetti, it’s clear that Beyoncé will always one up herself. Everyone left with a sense of wonder, and a wide-eyed desire to see what she’ll do next. Whatever it is, we’ll all be there to say “Heyyyy, Ms. Carter.”

Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.