Beyoncé kicks off her North American Renaissance tour in Philadelphia with a dazzling show at The Linc - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Beyoncé is hands down the best performer of our generation. Period. That’s it. This is the end of this concert review. 

While I stand by my above statements and viscerally believe that nothing more needs to be said, I am happy to wax poetic about the powerhouse that is Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter and the first U.S. stop of her Renaissance Tour in Philadelphia last night.

Beyhive members began slowly trickling into the Lincoln Financial Field as early as 2 p.m. for the show that was slated to begin at 7. The stadium was awash in western looks, sparkles, glitter, rhinestones, latex, denim, and any other material that has a knack for reflecting light. According to whispers on social media and messageboards, it seemed that the Queen usually took to the stage around 8:30 for the European leg of her tour. At around 8:45, Beyonce graced the bubbling crowd and began her 2.5-hour performance with “Flaws and All” followed by a beautiful seated performance of “1+1.”

Beyonce at Lincoln Financial Field | photo Mason Poole | courtesy of the artist

She followed this with a nod to R&B songstress Mary J. Blige by doing a cover of “I’m Going Down” and paid homage to the late Tina Turner with a cover of “River Deep, Mountain High.” After a few minutes of tender ballads, Beyoncé asked us if we were ready to party. At that point, she left for what was the first of many costume changes. Meanwhile, audience members were blessed with cinematic visuals of the Renaissance.

Throughout the night, we got to bear witness to Beyoncé performing literally every song from her most recent release, as well as classics like “Girls,” “Formation,” and “Love On Top.” The evening was full of costume changes and high-tech props. There were hand fans being controlled by mechanical arms and metal frames that signified a mirror that moved every time Beyoncé moved. One of the most iconic technical fashion moments came when Beyoncé appeared on stage covered in silver metal, resembling a cyborg. Suddenly, the arms, thigh, and hip plates moved out of place only to reveal a shimmering, more choreography-friendly one-piece.

Some of the best moments of the night came from Beyoncé’s subtle nods to Philly and Black culture. During her performance of “Diva,” there were musical undertones of Philly-club music and blick beats and, of course, the diva herself ended up doing hips. Another notable moment came during Beyoncé’s performance of her version of “Before I Let Go,” originally by Frankie Beverly And Maze (both of which are cemented as producers of Black cook-out anthems); the choreography featured the electric slide and when Beyonce took a moment to hit the Philly Bop with a dancer. 

Beyonce at Lincoln Financial Field | photo Mason Poole | courtesy of the artist

One would argue that the addition that got the loudest and most loving reaction from the crowd was the performance of “My Power” which spotlighted one of Beyoncé’s greatest creations – Blue Ivy Knowles-Carter. At this point, even casual Beyoncé fans have seen clips of the superstar’s 11-year-old daughter eating up the stage throughout the tour in Europe. 

Renaissance is queer as hell, and quite honestly Beyoncé would be remiss if she didn’t pay homage to ballroom and the queer icons of past and present. Toward the end of the show, there was a phenomenal dance break that involved the art of voguing. And when I tell you they threw down, they threw down! Tens across the board. I personally was especially excited to see legendary contestant Honey Balenciaga and other notable ballroom icons tearing up the stage during a few songs. 

I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to witness Beyoncé live. There will never again be a show that tops this one in my book. And to call back to my first statement: Beyoncé is hands down the best performer of our generation. Period. That’s it. This is the end of this concert review. 

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