This weekend, tens of thousands of lusty fans made the hellish trek out to the Rose Bowl for perhaps the greatest thing to happen on a football field since the Beyonce Bowl itself: Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On The Run tour. While hip hop’s Leaders Supreme performed this very performance all over the world, there was magic in the Pasadena air as Jay and Bey’s undeniable force inundated the upper-middle class suburban paradise. Domestic booze flowed, “Surfboard” tees were purchased, credit cards were maxed, and all dreams ever dreamed came true. But a shadow loomed above the stadium caused by more than just the unseasonable rain. As a tour structured around the passionate love castle that is the Jay + Bey marriage/empire, fans (including yours truly) could not help but read clues about their (some would say crumbling) marriage into the 2 1/2 hour long set. Though The Carters really couldn’t be farther from outlaws, the conceit of the show, as one of the top-grossing couples in the world, they structured their set as a narrative of their rocky relationship, including falling passionately in love, betrayal, and reconciliation. Oh pop/hip-hop gods, What did it all mean? CAN we read personal details of their love+lyfe into this expertly produced extravaganza?
The show began, as if taking place in the deepest of my REM-sleep fantasies, with a “YOU READY B?” and a “LET’S GO GET ‘EM”. “On The Run” was the name of the show after all, so why WOULDN’T they start with the song that started it all: “’03 Bonnie & Clyde”? As if they had consulted me personally, the next song was “Upgrade U,” featuring billionaire shopping list items including but not limited to:
- Audemars Piguet watch
- Hermes briefcase
- Cartier top clips
- Silk lined blazers
- Diamond creamed facials
- VVS cuff links
- 6 star pent suites
In case you are some sort of low-class pleb who doesn’t know the long-hand for VVS, it means very very slightly included diamonds. They can’t order their diamonds fast enough! Gotta abbreviate! I imagine that they buy precious stones with less care than I curate my order of one dozen donuts. Anywho, the next song was “Crazy In Love,” thus making the stage version of my gym playlist complete. ✓
I came in fully expecting to plan my mini-wine re-ups and bathroom breaks during the Jay-Z portions of the show, but I gotta say the HOV did not disappoint. Now, I won’t hide it from you, my life hasn’t been the same since the Solange elevator video lifted the veil on my Camelot, and I came in looking for clues. Based exclusively on the many long, winding, and job jeopardizing Facebook threads between my loser friends and I, we can all agree that there seemed to be some distance between the two on stage. For most of their joint numbers they kept a surprising amount of distance and B just didn’t seem as bubbly as usual around her man. What went down between The Mrs. Carter World tour and now?
Notes for conspiracy theorists: no rings were on any fingers and Yoncé did in fact update the lyric in infidelity anthem “Resentment” to “Been ridin’ with you for TWELVE years why did I deserve to be treated this way by you” (when the album came out the number was six) and yes we WERE thinking “what’s up with B?” Regardless, this performance was URRRMAHZINGG and defs worth watching: Of course, the sexiness was off-the-charts. Mami’s costumes shimmered like the tinsel on the tail of a unicorn. Also, she did the #duttywine while wearing leather garters.
Oh – did I mention that it was completely raining like, the whole show? It was beautiful à la an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot extravaganza minus the perfectly askew antique latter. The lights of the crowd twinkled, the rain misted over The Bowl, Beyonce’s dress billowed in the wind, and the Carters sang “Young Forever” while the big screen showed a montage of their romance blossoming before our very eyes.
Between footage of their world wide travels, engagement rings (VVS), and countless yachting adventures, I was so sold, you guys. Minutes before, I had been trying to figure out who had hit send on the email to TMZ but then they brought out the big guns. GUNS is plural, you see, because there were two guns. 1. Blue Ivy Carter and 2. Halo.
MANIPULATE ME! MANIPULATE ME! I LOVE IT GIVE ME IT ALLLLLLLL!
The only conclusion to be made is that B is the best performer we have ever had. Certainly on par with Michael Jackson. I will always go to her shows (went last year, too.) If J + B turn out to just be a highly calculated billion dollar business arrangement I may enter a catatonic state from which I never return. See me, see rain: What does the future hold for our Queen? Whether the result is marital bliss and more bbs or a breakup and the inevitable Single Ladies Tour, I’ll be there with all the bells on. Thanks to @AmyScarlata for this meditation on love in the spotlight. Her life will never be the same in a post-On The Run world.