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REVIEW: Beyoncé and JAY-Z shine at 'On The Run II Tour'


THERE ARE NOT many acts I could see three times and still be mesmerized by their performance. To still dance emphatically to the same songs – albeit revamped – sing passionately to the same lyrics as I did only a year earlier, and be entranced by their beauty as if this woman isn’t plastered across our screens on a regular basis.

But Beyoncé honey – Beyoncé is the absolute exception.

Alongside husband and star in his own right, JAY-Z, the power couple put on one helluva a show at the London Stadium on Saturday night (June 16), as their On The Run II Tour took centre stage to thousands of screaming fans – including myself of course.

With no opening act, the couple hit the stage at 8pm on the dot (surprisingly punctual) as Holy Grail played in the background. The couple, descending from the skies looked like the picture perfect power couple. But the show would soon explore the perils, difficulties and reconciliation that plagued their marriage, making them almost more humanlike than ever before.

The first half of the show was explosive as Bey and Jay performed some of their most loved up hits, from Drunk in Love to the classic 0’3 Bonnie & Clyde. The track list and stunning visuals set against the beautiful backdrop of Jamaica captured the beginnings of any love story.

The cinematic visuals were inspired by 1970's classic African film, Touki Bouki. The 1973 Senegalese motion picture was written and directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty and follows a young couple from Dakar, Senegal's capital, which steal and scheme to acquire the money to travel to Paris, their dream city. The leading pair is reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde - whom Bey and JAY famously compare themselves too - and they're literally on the run.

But back to the show – both Jay and Bey lit up the stage respectively, as the rapper performed some of his greatest hits including Onto The Next One and Big Pimpin which got the crowd jumping.

The shift from feel good music to a much more sombre note was equally felt through the imagery and set list as Beyoncé performed the ultimate scorned woman’s playlist including I Care and Ring The Alarm to Sorry and Me Myself and I.

The transition reflected the betrayal in the marriage that the couple have been so open about in their music. JAY-Z then played into the regretful unfaithful man trope, standing on his lonesome, as he performed Song Cry – the ultimate remorseful cheater anthem.

Amidst the glitz and glam and outfit changes, this section of the show really reflected the trials and tribulations that some married couples go through – albeit, projected to an 80,000 strong audience, accompanied by a strong musical catalogue and guaranteed millions in the bank.

Nonetheless I found this to be quite endearing. Of course the two are savvy business people and see the monetary benefits in revealing their marriage woes through their music – but for someone like Beyoncé who once a upon a time was criticised for not being ‘open’ it was a nice change of pace into the lives of Mr and Mrs Carter.

Towards the end of the concert, a theme of rediscovery and finding oneself was felt throughout as the two performed hits including Encore to Girls, and honed in on how this isolation brought them closer together as they found one another – appropriately performing tracks Crazy In Love and Forever Young.

The show really follows the ups and downs of their relationship with a banging discography, epic tour video and bags of talent to boot. The couple use their art to document their history and triple their worth and they wrapped it up in one badass 150-minute show.

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