It was the night the world had been waiting for. Amidst the troubled marriage rumours, accusations off affairs and the “forced” family front, Beyonce and Jay-Z were gearing up to perform the last two shows of their joint On The Run tour in Paris after a four week break.
The tour was supposed to show that one of the longest running couples in showbiz are still going strong but instead it showed the apparent cracks in their seemingly perfect marriage and contradicted the whole idea of a young couple in love and indeed, ‘on the run’.
Nevertheless, fans were not phased by these revelations as they poured through the doors of Stade de France in their thousands, eighty to be exact. As these two shows were the only two scheduled out with America it wasn’t surprising that many fans had come from other countries including the UK and Germany.
Yes they were an hour late onto the stage, who isn’t these days? Bey and Jay opened with their collaboration ‘Bonnie & Clyde ‘03’ to a back drop of ‘THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE’. Beyonce wore a balaclava inspired mask, one of her many outfits of the night. The couple continued with a mash-up of ‘Upgrade U’, ‘Crazy in Love’, and ‘Show Me What You Got’.
So far so good. No evidence of a ‘crumbling marriage’ or ‘imminent divorce’.
Despite On The Run having been put together very quickly compared to most tours, it is one of the most efficient and organised this crowd has ever seen. The couple have equal stage time, both belting out their own hits as well as the ones they have collaborated on together and each segment of songs, coupled with videos or ‘mini movies’ if you will, fitted in perfectly with the story of ‘On The Run’.
Jay-Z commanded the crowd with ease during hits such as ‘N***as in Paris’, ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’, ‘On To The Next One’, ‘No Church In The Wild’, ’99 Problems’, ‘IZZO’ and ‘Hard Knock Life’. Mr. Carter proved exactly why he is regarded as one of the best rappers in the business and of all time; the fans were hanging off his every word and couldn’t get enough.
Then there was Beyonce. Queen B herself. The performances were choreographed to perfection, an outfit change nearly every time she left and returned to the stage pushing on a total of 20, the crowds were screaming along to every single lyric and Beyonce was absolutely lapping it up. Her legion of fans known as the ‘Beyhive’ are amongst the most loyal in the world. I suppose the fact many travelled far and wide to Paris already confirms this.
Hits included ‘Baby Boy’, ‘Naughty Girl’, ‘Why Don’t You Love Me’, ‘If I Were a Boy’, ‘Love on Top’ and ‘Single Ladies’ but it was perhaps her newest efforts that provoked the biggest reaction. ‘Run The World’, ‘Yonce’, and ‘Flawless’ were, well, flawless. The surprise guest Nicki Minaj rapped her verse during the remix of ‘Flawless’ and fans were completely in awe. Shouting: “Did you wake up like this? Is you flawless?!”, Queen B’s fans had been waiting all night for that moment. The lyrics ‘I woke up like this’ are perhaps her most famous and most quoted to date.
However the most anticipated performance of the night was Beyonce’s rendition of her hit song ‘Resentment’ complete with a veil and wedding dress. The lyrics depict a failed relationship where she cannot forgive a cheating partner. This adds all the more fuel to the marriage rumours as she changed the lyrics from ‘like your mistress could’ to ‘like that white bitch could’ and ‘been riding with you for six years’ to ‘been riding with you for twelve years’; a clear ode to her relationship with Jay. As dramatic as the song was, it was a performance. And only a performance.
It’s safe to say that Beyonce stole the show but together with Jay Z? They are unstoppable and have certainly had the last laugh. Closing the show together the couple sang ‘Forever Young’, ‘Lift Off’, and ‘Halo’ to a montage of family pictures and home movies containing images of their two year old daughter Blue Ivy.
After declaring that Paris was special to them because it’s the city that they became engaged and conceived their daughter, Beyonce said to Jay Z “I am your biggest fan. I love you.” He replied with “Greatest entertainer in the world. I love her. She’s my wife.” And exited stage left hugging, kissing and holding hands. Like any two people in love would.
One The Run is perhaps one of the greatest shows in the world. Beyonce and Jay Z pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes and are laughing all the way to the bank. Their marriage appears to be rock solid and I have no doubt we haven’t have seen the last of ‘Bey-Z’. With rumours of a joint album on the way and perhaps another tour, I cannot wait to see what is coming next.