Beyonce, Hampden Park, Glasgow
IF YOU are wondering how Beyonce became the biggest star in the world, just look at how the woman puts a show together.
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Coming in at an almost Springsteen-esque two and a half hours, the Glasgow stop of the Formation World Tour featured the perfect mix of old and new material, high-energy dance routines and soulful ballads, and – at that point in the evening when it was getting cold, and everybody was starting to flag – a mega-mix of her biggest hits performed flawlessly in a red faux fur coat and leather leotard.
The slowed down, seriously sexy take on Crazy in Love, more demented than darling, that opened the medley was a highlight of the night, not least because, a verse and chorus later, she switched to the version that got even the seated portion of the crowd out of their seats. But truthfully, the whole set was a litany of highlights, from that irresistible Formation twang that opened the night as Queen Bey rose from the underworld in full Southern widow regalia, to set closer Halo under a shower of shooting stars.
Images and snippets of Warsan Shire poetry from the Lemonade visual album broke up the set, while album standout Freedom became a jaw-dropping tribute to black victims of police brutality. Dancers kicked and writhed in a pool of water, in front of a backdrop displaying the names of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and hundreds of others.
Fans were encouraged to participate in the catharsis and defiance of new songs like Sorry and Hold Up. Perhaps none of us will ever put on a yellow dress and take a baseball bat to somebody’s car like in that video, but for a minute we could all pretend.