Next year, the NFL might want to consider getting rid of all that football stuff and just let Beyoncé take over the entire Super Bowl for two hours. The unrivaled pop superstar, 34, certainly showed off an entire league’s worth of stamina and power during the mind-blowing opening night of her 41-show Formation World Tour in Miami last night. As expected, plenty of Lemonade songs were served during the 36-song set, as well as oodles of other surprises, including an emotional tribute to Prince, surviving a mic malfunction and the unveiling of personal home movies showcasing her most romantic moments with husband Jay Z. Us entertainment director Ian Drew was stage-side for the entire two-hour extravaganza, watching as Queen Bey strutted her stuff to hits including “Crazy in Love,” “Flawless” and Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” — along with a slew of sweet covers. Here are the top five standout moments:
1) The Queen Gets Personal!
Somebody may have cheated, as strongly suggested by Beyoncé’s blockbuster sixth album, Lemonade (not to call anybody out!), but the singer had nothing but love for her dearly beloved during the sold-out show. After wailing about an unfaithful husband in new cuts including “Hold Up” and “Sorry,” Queen Bey told an adorable story about driving to the show with 4-year-old Blue. “My daughter said, ‘Mommy, are we going to your work?’ And then we were pulling up to this huge stadium … I remembered when I was a little girl that this was my dream.” During a video interlude later on, the screens flashed never-before-seen footage of Bey and Jay cradling Blue after her birth in the hospital and a succession of private shots from the child’s life. Intermingled with that was rare footage of the music couple’s intimate moments, including a clip of them getting their matching four (IV) finger tattoos. At show’s end, Beyoncé dedicated “Halo” to “my beautiful husband. I love you so much.” Guess there’s no drama for now, at least. Side note: Beyoncé’s Destiny’s Child bandmate, Michelle Williams, also got a shout-out for surprising her with an appearance at the concert.
2) Prince Reigned!
While the “Party” singer didn’t actually perform a number in honor of the recently deceased Purple One, she sure gave him his moment. During one of Beyoncé’s six costume changes, the video screens turned purple as a four-minute edit of his 1984 classic “Purple Rain” blared throughout the arena. The emotional crowd of roughly 35,000 fans sang in unison while waving their lit-up cellphones. Bey continued to pay tribute later in the show, blasting purple confetti over the fans during “Party” and performing a surprise cover of “Nasty Girl,” by Prince protégées Vanity 6. And closing the show, she was sure to thank Prince “for [his] beautiful music.”
3) Bey’s Not Afraid to Get Wet!
The award for the spectacle’s most impressive staging goes to the giant lap pool that was set up at the end of the stage’s runway toward the end of the show. A barefoot Beyoncé emerged to sing “Freedom” by wading into the ankle-deep water as she splashed around with her 22 female dancers through a highly choreographed set that also included “Survivor,” “End of Time,” “Grown Woman” and the finale, “Halo.” As she got more and more soaked, the superstar didn’t miss a step — and didn’t miss a beat when her microphone went out during the first verse of “Survivor.” Even though the crowd couldn’t hear her impeccable vocals, she kept powering through the song as a stagehand quickly rushed her an operating replacement mic. See, haters? There’s the proof that Beyoncé doesn’t lip-synch or even sing to a backing track during even her most exhaustive performances. Any questions?
4) She’s Got It Covered!
Throughout the concert, Beyoncé whipped out several surprise cover songs. Although she rocked out to snippets of original songs including Brenda Lee’s 1960 heartbreaker “I’m Sorry” (before her new track “Sorry,” off Lemonade) and The Doors' “Five to One” (she headbanged to it on a metal throne!), she also crooned tunes by a few of her inspirations. The Houston native performed D’Angelo’s “(Untitled) How Does It Feel” while writhing on a chair in the middle of her own “Rocket.” Then, during a sex-themed suite of songs, out came the “Nasty Girl” cover, plus her version of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” (it was worked into her own 2008 smash of the same title). And blink and you’ll miss it: a piece of hubby Jay Z’s “Tom Ford” was woven into “Bow Down” toward the beginning of the song.
5) There’s Nothing Like a Good Leotard!
Once again, Beyoncé’s favorite concert wardrobe staple, the leotard, rocked her body all night (although her Stuart Weitzman heels of tours past were replaced with high-heeled boots). She paired a plain black onesie with a large, wide-brimmed hat to open the night with “Formation.” She then debuted six other stylish versions throughout the gig. There was the white lace and diamond-encrusted long-sleeved stunner she paired with lavender knee-high boots for “Mine,” “Baby Boy,” “Hold Up” and “Countdown.” Out came a white-and-red, pearl emblazoned version for a suite that included “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” “Ring the Alarm” and “Flawless.” A flashy gold number helped light up “7/11,” as well as “Drunk In Love” and “Rocket.” Honoring her hero Michael Jackson, she donned a sparkly black and gold marching-band–style getup (with tiger-skin–printed boots!) for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”: Two fans helped do the famous dance with her! And, of course, a red patent-leather number accentuated the sex-themed slew of songs that was highlighted by the 50 Shades of Grey revamp of “Crazy in Love” and “Blow.” Hey, if it works, why change?
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