It had been raining the whole day.
The kind of rain that makes you question what you’re doing outside in it – never mind standing in a queue, waiting to get into a concert.
But that’s what being a fan’s all about. And if Sunday night’s show is anything to go by, Beyonce’s fans are the definition of the word. Many of them waited in the pouring rain for hours and hours before the doors of the Roseland Ballroom in NYC opened. I spoke to a few umbrella-holding, dust-bin-bag-wearing fans, outside:[audio:http://missntertainment.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Beyonce-vox.mp3|titles=Beyonce vox]
It took a good few hours to let people in. The queue wrapped itself around the building – twice.
This didn’t go unnoticed by Beyonce herself. Before she even began the first note of the first song, Bey thanked her fans, acknowledging she has some of the best in the world.
There she was, in a tiny gold dress, appearing on the stage before us. “This show is gonna be a little bit different. I wanna tell you guys my story. Y’all might know some of this stuff already, so I’m gonna want you to sing along loudly. By age 5 I knew exactly what I wanted to be…”
“You guys” would be the 3 and a half thousand fans or so who’ve gathered at the Roseland Ballroom for this, the first of a four-night exclusive residency here in New York. Sunday night’s was taped for what’s believed will be the next DVD release, coming out in the next few months.
After starting with The Jackson Five’s, I Wanna Be Where You Are, she runs through a retrospective of her career with Destiny’s Child, with her dancers playing the part of Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. Bey moves through the catalogue, swiftly and energetically – bringing together hit after hit, with little vignettes in between. Like about how her dad told them to improve and how they were dropped from Electra Records and picked up by Columbia.
Pic: Myrna Suarez
She moves onto her solo work, relaying how she was initially told there were no hit singles on her debut album, Dangerously In Love. “Yeah, I guess they were right,” she smirks. “There wasn’t one hit single. There were five.” Cue rapturous cheers from the crowd.
As the strains of Bonnie and Clyde ’08 begin to play, Bey tells of how, in spite of it all, she was lonely. Of course we know what this song means. Bey refers to hubby Jay-Z, who is in Miami for the night, again later before she launches into Single Ladies.
She spends most of the night concentrating on Four, bringing it to life, almost 3-D like, before our ears and eyes. She moves from being on top of the piano for 1+1 to sitting on a white stool for I Don’t Care; from allowing the crowd to sing most of I Miss You to knocking back the vocals for Rather Die Young. With Best Thing I Never Had, she encourages the audience to sing to their exes – and boy, do they ever! By the time Run The World (Girls) comes, the crowd is in frenzy.
Final song, I Was Here, leaves the audience with the lasting image of Beyonce, bright lights flashing around her, as she stands a lone figure, head tilted back, hair flying behind her, that voice coming out powerful and measured.
There’s nothing like experiencing her playful pouting, her flirtatious moves, her sexy booty-shaking live. A DVD will be great, but let’s hope there are plans for this mini-tour to travel and become a bigger one to lands beyond. Otherwise, for Beyonce fans around the world, this would then be one of the best things they never had.