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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 13 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 50
Beyoncé reigns supreme in spectacular performance
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Beyoncé reigns supreme in spectacular performance

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

BEYONCÉ
US AIRWAYS CENTER
(PHOENIX, ARIZONA)
December 7


'A woman, or something personified as a woman, that is foremost or preeminent in any respect.' This is the definition given for a 'queen' (from an online dictionary) and it perfectly fits the profile of megastar Beyoncé. The multi-tasking performer, a recording artist, actress, part-time spokesperson and mother, delivered a whopping show to a capacity crowd last weekend at Phoenix's US Airways Center, which seats up to 23,000 guests comfortably.

The concert kicked off with a video montage of Beyoncé in Victorian queen get-up being crowned while sitting on a throne, then a stream of female dancers in wire hoop skirts ascended the stage from a sub-level hatch. When they marched off the stage, the lights dimmed and Beyoncé rose to the platform in a lacy, skimpish one-piece ensemble, matching high heels and long wavy hair blowing like a supermodel on a runway, and opened, appropriately, with 'Run the World (Girls).' The second number, 'End of Time,' concluded with icicle lights cascading down to the stage behind the famed singer.

There was little interaction with the audience, swirling with clusters of Gay men, Latina and African-American women, plus moms chaperoning their young daughters on a girls' night out. 'If I Were a Boy' included a sample of The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony,' featuring Beyoncé in a glittery black outfit with an accompanying hat. A snippet of 'Baby Boy' ended the first segment of the show, before another of several more video montages was shown, as Queen Bey went through a costume change. She re-emerged and performed half of 'Diva' and then a quick run-through of 'Naughty Girl' in which she peeked behind an illuminated door a la stripper act.

Dressed in a stylish, metallic purple pantsuit, Beyoncé sang '1 + 1' while slithering atop a piano, and then she straddled herself into a swing and flew to the other side of the arena, where a smaller stage was propped with an enclosed group of fans, who went bonkers with the up-close experience. There, she performed a touching rendition of her ballad 'Irreplaceable,' as everyone joined her on the chorus. A lively version of 'Love on Top' and a partial delivery of 'Survivor,' pulled out from her Destiny's Child catalog, came next.

Following a brief skit by Les Twins, a French dance duo touring with Beyoncé, a countdown from 10 to 1 culminated with the bursting trumpet and brass beginnings of 'Crazy in Love.' immediately followed by a slick performance of 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' that was melded with the TV theme from The Jeffersons. 'Grown Woman' brought the main set to a close, as the entertainer told everyone that the show wasn't over yet. A one song encore of 'Halo' intro'd with the first verse and chorus of 'I Will Always Love You' capped the night, as Beyoncé shook hands of fans just below the stage while hitting all the high-pitched notes.

'The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour' is Beyoncé's fifth major road outing and though it was short, not even 90 minutes in length, it had captivating moments and featured an all-female band and dance troupe, minus Les Twins. The closest it came to Seattle was Vancouver, B.C., and it already had played to audiences in Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia, Mexico and over 10 countries in Europe.

If a queen can also be defined as commanding, then Beyoncé again fits the profile - because on Saturday night, she ruled.

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