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Concert review: Beyoncé showcases stunning skills at spectacular SoFi Stadium show

Dressed in a black gown and wide-brimmed hat, Beyoncé holds her microphone stand surrounded by fog. The queen of the “BeyHive” performed at SoFi Stadium on Friday for her “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” and will host two more shows at the venue on Saturday and her birthday. (Courtesy of Julian Dakdouk)

“RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR”

Beyoncé

SoFi Stadium

Sept. 1, 2, 4

By Talia Sajor

Sept. 2, 2023 3:28 p.m.

This post was updated Sept. 5 at 1:29 p.m.

Beyoncé has claimed her rightful title as Mother of the House of Renaissance.

On Friday, the Texas-born singer stopped at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium on her “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” following the 2022 release of her Grammy Award-winning album of the same name. With visual spectacles, Beyoncé brought the vibrant ballroom culture to the forefront, proving her prowess as an artist not only through her vocals but most importantly through her skills as a performer.

Supporting the pop star as the concert’s opening act was DJ Khaled. The DJ began his set by remixing his most popular songs, such as “Wild Thoughts,” as well as shoutouts to the Southern California setting such as 2Pac’s “California Love.” Although he was successfully able to get the crowd hyped up, he would cut to different songs after playing them for just a few seconds and repeatedly asked the audience whether they liked different figures from God to Michael Jackson, fusing an awkward and choppy set.

Although DJ Khaled left much to be desired as an opener, he eventually made up for it with the subsequent “surprises” he brought on stage with him, which were revealed to be performances from 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa, Coi Leray, Roddy Ricch, Offset and Lil Wayne. Roddy Ricch and Lil Wayne unfortunately faced technical difficulties, yet that did not deter crowd members from excitedly dancing along to each rapper’s respective songs, whether it be a nostalgic oldie or a recently viral tune.

Only a few minutes after DJ Khaled bid farewell, Beyoncé graced the stage wearing a gold-and-black slit dress and matching geometric boater hat atop her golden locks. She opened the first portion of her set with songs including “Dangerously In Love” and “1+1.” As there was a lack of any choreography, she was able to focus on her voice, which delivered effortless runs and sustained belting.

[Related: Grammys 2023: Beyoncé breaks record for most awarded artist in history with 32nd win]

While Beyoncé began stationary at her microphone, a typical entrance of many other singers, all succeeding numbers proved that “RENAISSANCE” is a concert like no other. After an interlude of a chrome-paletted montage roused the audience for the “RENAISSANCE” era, Beyoncé returned attached to a robotic machine that unhooked her, exposing her shimmering silver bodysuit and thigh-high boots.

Segueing into “I’M THAT GIRL,” Beyoncé then began to confirm to the SoFi Stadium crowd why she is more than deserving of that statement. Through the nearly three-hour-long set, her unwavering energy was contagious and dazzled as bright as her nine different sequin-studded costumes. Every steadily sung note and movement, whether a grandiose pose or simple gesture, successfully commanded the audience’s attention throughout the entire performance. Her vocals especially shined in the ethereal ending riffs of “Drunk in Love,” most notably popularized from her previous show in Dubai.

With glittering hues of violet and navy adorning the screens behind her, Beyoncé flicks her fingers during her Friday performance. The Texan&squot;s setlist was divided into various segments, including "RENAISSANCE," "OPULENCE" and "MIND CONTROL." (Courtesy of Mason Poole)
With glittering hues of violet and navy adorning the screens behind her, Beyoncé flicks her fingers during her Friday performance. The Texan’s setlist was divided into various segments, including “RENAISSANCE,” “OPULENCE” and “MIND CONTROL.” (Courtesy of Mason Poole)

With every meticulously crafted outfit also came specifically curated songs that brilliantly connected through an overarching theme. For example, the “OPULENCE” section featured Beyoncé confidently parading in a silver and beige cutout ensemble. Appearing as if she was ready for battle, she rapped the female empowerment theme “Run the World (Girls)” and her verse in Megan Thee Stallion’s self-love anthem “Savage Remix,” where she was smoothly rocked back and forth on a vehicle while maintaining a steady flow.

Similarly, during her final portion, titled “MIND CONTROL,” Beyoncé donned a metallic black, yellow and silver suit and antennaed helmet – a rather futuristic and tasteful bee costume. With the inclusion of “AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM” and “PURE/HONEY” as well as the recurring bee motif and vibrant “ON AIR” sign, “MIND CONTROL” is a clever nod to the power of media and her own “BeyHive” fanbase.

[Related: Second Take: Grammys continue to demonstrate lack of respect for the talent of Black artists]

The most staggering aspect of the entire production was the tribute to ballroom culture, dance and club music that was started by the Black and Latino queer community in the late 20th century, which the album was inspired by. The dazzling choreography incorporated different elements of voguing, characterized by the dancers’ sharp hand movements, entrancing swaying hips and fierce facials. Furthered by the giant spinning disco ball and commanding struts down the stage by both Beyoncé and her dancers, SoFi Stadium was transformed into nothing short of a true ball.

During the penultimate song, “PURE/HONEY,” an entire ballroom break that included styles of house dancing was created, which had the audience erupting in cheers with each striking duckwalk and graceful floor dip. The dance interlude was not only a testament to her dancers’ talent but also paid a powerful concluding tribute to ballroom queens.

After over two decades, Beyoncé has once again reminded everyone who’s the queen of the hive.

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Talia Sajor | Arts editor
Sajor was the 2023-2024 Arts editor. She previously served as the 2022-2023 Theater | film | television editor and a Photo, Opinion and PRIME contributor. She is also a fourth-year communication student from Oxnard, California.
Sajor was the 2023-2024 Arts editor. She previously served as the 2022-2023 Theater | film | television editor and a Photo, Opinion and PRIME contributor. She is also a fourth-year communication student from Oxnard, California.
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