BEYONCE COMES TO TOWN

ARTICLE COURTESY BBC NEWSBEAT

Beyonce on-stage with two dancers leaning behind her. She's dressed in a glittery-neon dress with golden boots
Image caption,Who run the world? If you read the reviews from her new tour… Beyoncé does

By Jack Gray

Newsbeat reporter

Beyoncé is back with her first solo tour in seven years.

And the megastar didn’t disappoint when she kicked off her Renaissance world tour in Sweden this week.

Fans who got to see the opening night told BBC Newsbeat it was “the most expensive show and the craziest show I’ve ever been to in my life”.

From a giant shiny horse and multiple costume changes to inclusive loos, here’s what you might be able to expect from Queen Bey’s mega-tour.

By the time the 43-date run ends in September it’s thought it will have grossed almost £2bn – but thankfully no expense has been spared.

The show is almost three hours long – luckily Beyoncé has about 20 years’ worth of material to pick from – and the staging is exactly as extravagant as you’re imagining…

Beyoncé performs onstage during the opening night of the “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” in Stockholm, Sweden
Beyonce gliding through the air on a glitter-encrusted white horse as she performs onstage during the opening night of the “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” in Stockholm, Sweden

The long-awaited tour – which sold out almost immediately – showcases her Grammy-award winning Renaissance album.

But when fans finally stop screaming, she opens the show with her first live performance of Dangerously in Love in 10 years.

Following the opener from her debut solo album two decades ago, she belts through another two tracks before turning to Renaissance.

But the 36-strong set list still features plenty of classics from albums like Crazy in Love, I Am… Sasha Fierce and Drunk in Love.

Beyoncé hasn’t released any music videos for Renaissance – so the tour is the first chance for fans to experience the tracks with a visual element.

The superstar doesn’t disappoint, getting through nine futuristic fashion choices – including a shimmering gold bodysuit covered with black opera gloves…

Beyonce is flanked by two back up dancers to the left and right of her. She's wearing a golden jumpsuit
Beyoncé performs onstage during the opening night of the “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” in Stockholm, Sweden
Beyoncé performs onstage during the opening night of the “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” in Stockholm, Sweden

Before anyone says anything about spoilers, we know you’ve watched most of the gig via TikTok anyway.

And the critics seem to be impressed. The Guardian gave the “dizzying spectacular” a five-star rating.

While music mag Rolling Stone said Beyoncé makes breezing through her back catalogue and costume changes “look easy” as everyone else is left to keep up.

The tour is Beyoncé’s first time on the road solo since 2016 so, naturally, demand for tickets was sky-high.

It pushed UK prices to over £2,300, and convinced football club Tottenham Hotspur to breach its license by adding a second date.

Beyoncé packing out stadiums is no surprise – but fans who travelled to Stockholm said there were plenty at the gig.

Ella is standing in front of the Renaissance World Tour merchandise stand
Image caption,Ella travelled from nearby Norway to Sweden to see Beyoncé’s first show

Ella A, who’s a singer herself, tells Newsbeat the three-hour show “felt like a tour throughout her career”.

“I don’t think I could have imagined how big it was going to be really,” she says.

“There’s something about being amongst 50,000 people singing passionately to the same song and then seeing an artist you’ve grown up with your whole life.

“There were also lots and lots and lots and lots of lights. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many lights.”

“You could have been anywhere in the world tonight but you choose to be here with me,” is how Beyoncé opens the show.

And despite the tour going all over the world, superfans travelled thousands of miles to say they were at the first one in Sweden.

For friends Grecia De la Paz and Alicia Colak, who headed across Europe to be at the show, the spectacle was worth it.

“The visuals were amazing and very futuristic. I was living for the outfits, and all the dancers are absolutely insanely talented,” Grecia says.

“They’re like part of the show, and I really respect that she let them have their moment as artists.”

Alicia and Grecia standing in front of the stage, smiling. Grecia is wearing sunglasses and there are big bright lights pointing at the stage behind them,
Image caption,Alicia and Grecia (left to right) say they bagged some of the best seats in the house

Renaissance celebrates black and queer dance culture – and fans said equality was a big theme on night one.

So much so that Grammy award record-holder Beyoncé reportedly made the decision to make some bathrooms at the venue gender neutral.

“As soon as we entered the stadium we saw the stage has the all-genders flag and it’s got the trans flag, the LGBTQ+, and that’s the visual you have for like, two, three hours,” Alicia says.

“She’s paying tribute to the LGBTQ community.”

It’s something Ella noticed too.

“Just watching everybody, this crowd of people together… somehow, they were all so inclusive and united,” she says.

“It’s such an inclusive community connected out of love for music, dance, art and Bey herself.”

So fans lucky enough to snap up tickets to the tour seem to have enjoyed themselves.

But for those of us who don’t, we’ll have to make do with experiencing it through the eyes of others…

Beyoncé performs onstage during the opening night of the “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” in Stockholm, Sweden
Beyoncé performs onstage during the opening night of the “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR” in Stockholm, Sweden
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-65558426

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