In the course of human events, there are nights that knock your socks off. The other night at the Beyonce and JayZ concert was just one of those nights for me. Twenty-four hours later, it’s still reverberating in my consciousness, and every so often, I have to remind myself it really happened.
As much as I love their music, I’ve never before been to a JayZ or Beyonce concert when they’ve toured separately. But together, their music is just too much fun to resist. Plus, Beyonce can dance like there’s no tomorrow, and the outfits she can pull off while dancing really boggle my mind. She clearly inspires her fans too, because there were a stunning number of people in the audience wearing hot pants and short shorts and the highest heels you’ve ever seen in your life (not like 5 inch heels, which are too tall for me to even attempt to try on on a carpeted floor, but like 9 inch heels with four inch platforms, which just shouldn’t even be possible, but apparently are, for a large number of individuals more talented than I).
When we first sat down, the huge black screen above the stage bore a sign in large white letters that read “This is not real.” I’m not sure exactly to what it referred (the sort of Bonnie and Clyde personas that Jay and Bey put on? the marriage? the press coverage?) but it’s funny that a day later, I’m still reminding myself that the concert itself was real.
I have to admit that, given all the talk in the press lately about the state of their marriage, I was watching both Beyonce and JayZ like a hawk for body language cues, facial expressions (we were close enough to see them during a lot of the concert, and when they were at a more distant part of the stage, my eyes were trained on the jumbotrons), and general demeanor. Which is why I walk away from the whole thing with an even deeper level of appreciation for Beyonce. Because she is a consummate performer. Despite looking tired and maybe a little sad (in my [non-]expert but highly interested take on the situation), she really performed her heart out. (For his part, JayZ was awesome, but his performance involves a lot less acrobatics and fewer facial expressions intending to portray adoration.) If there are, indeed, problems between the two of them, she works really hard to make sure they’re not written all over her face (another reason I couldn’t be Beyonce: if I’m pissed, it’s chiseled across every inch of me. If my husband cheated on me (as some allege has happened with JayZ), I certainly wouldn’t be good at dancing provocatively in front of him as he discussed my “breastisses” being his breakfast.) But I digress.
The night was approximately the best party ever, with an incredible number of danceable tunes. It started with JayZ’s song “’03 Bonnie and Clyde” (the first song the two ever collaborated on) and ran through most of their greatest hits, before culminating in a medley of “Forever Young” and Beyonce’s “Halo,” as home movies of Jay and Bey and their baby, Blue Ivy, played on the huge screen above the stage.
Jay and Bey turned away from the crowd, and stood arm in arm, to watch the videos. Beyonce mentioned that his would be their last stop in the US on their tour (their final two shows are in Paris in five weeks). She said it was a night they’ll never forget. Neither will I. Especially because of what turned out to be the most unbelievable part of the night, for me. Beyonce sang a song called “Resentment” (it’s the much-discussed song which recently Bey has changed the lyrics to to reflect the length of her relationship with Jay when discussing how long a cheating lover and she have been together), while wearing a beaded wedding outfit, complete with veil and seemed to be visibly crying (her eyes red and wet) as she sang “I gotta look in her eyes and she’s had half of me. . . She ain’t even half of me.” She then moved on to a more uplifting song, danced around, and dabbed her face with a towel, which she then threw into the audience. It landed in my friend’s lap, sitting right next to me.
I told you it was an unbelievable night.