ICYMI Part I: http://wp.me/p3MPGw-7j
“Call me back, I need some more packs.” Those are the last words we hear from Beyoncé before “Move that Dope” by Future comes blaring from the speakers. As awful as this song is (and I do mean awful), I LOVE it! And much like the rest of the crowd I danced and sang along. After a few bars, the moment we’d all been waiting for arrived! Jay-Z and Beyoncé appeared on stage and, somewhat predictably, performed their hit, “Bonnie & Clyde.” The couple then went into a medley of their hits together including “Upgrade U,” and “Crazy in Love” before Beyoncé left the stage and we saw the first solo performance of the evening.
Jay started his first solo set with what is quite possibly my all time favorite Hov track – “I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me).” Hearing the first few notes immediately took me back to the first time I ever heard the song, It was Fall 2000 and I riding to Ann Arbor with a group of friends to watch the Michigan game. I remember us all enjoying the song and me saying “my favorite line is ‘I just wanna love you, but be who I am’ but I bet that’ll get lost in the excitement for the rest of the song.” To this day I think that that line is lost on most.
Next up was “Tom Ford.” As soon as the beat dropped the crowd went wild. When Jay got to the lines, “Paris where we been, Pard’ my Parisian, It’s Hov Time,” the crowd erupted once again. It was probably the first time you could hear what sounded like every soul in the building singing along at the same time.
Back on stage, Beyoncé performed “Run the World.” It wasn’t the crowd’s favorite, but since Beyoncé is their favorite, they cheered anyway. Then, unbeknownst to us, we were about to witness the moment people have been talking about for the last week. Beyoncé disappeared through the floor of the stage and a clip from the “Flawless” video began to play. When the song began to play the crowd was so loud that I’m sure we could be heard 12 km away at the Eiffel Tower. Les Twins’ performance elicited a response that, if seen out of context, one would think that they were the main event. They’re that good! Beyoncé returns performing a verse from “Flawless” as we all sang along. Then she abruptly stops and announces that she has a surprise for us. We hear the remix starting to play in the back and immediately knew that Nicki Minaj would be coming out. The crowd’s response was exactly what you’d want if you were filming a special for television. After Beyoncé’s performance of “Flawless” with Nicki Minaj, I think the crowd was hoping, maybe even wishing, that some of the other artists featured on their songs might also appear with them on stage. We now know that that didn’t happen and by the time the concert ended, the crowd had certainly forgotten about those earlier wishes.
(Continued in Part III)