It’s now been two and a half years since the release of Beyonce’s last album, the career high point 4. Given the steady stream of songs she’s leaked throughout 2013 (one of which, Grown Woman, appeared in last night’s show), it appears the Mrs Carter World Tour was originally intended to promote a brand new album from B. Sadly, there’s nothing in sight – but still, it’s a thrill to finally hear so many of the songs from the flawless 4 album get their moment to shine.
Beyonce was half an hour late to the stage at Allphones Arena last night, but all was forgiven once she roared through the incredible opening one-two punch of Run The World (Girls) and End of Time, two of the very best songs from 4. Lights, flames, sparks, LED screens – it was a dazzling assault to the senses.
Considering 4 was a more subdued affair than previous Beyonce albums, the Mrs Carter Show is surprisingly high-octane: ballads were few and far between, with B instead focusing on the dance floor fillers from her back catalogue. B Day non-singles Freakum Dress and Get Me Bodied both made welcome appearances, while the Love To Love You Baby sample from early single Naughty Girl was extended to turn the song into a full Donna Summer tribute.
The energy never abated through Why Don’t You Love Me, Single Ladies, Love On Top, Baby Boy – a relentless display of hits. So relentless, in fact, that this reviewer paid dearly for the decision to nip out for a quick bathroom break during one costume change, only to hear the familiar opening horn blast from Crazy In Love blaring out from the arena. Some advice, B fans: HOLD IT IN.
By the time Beyonce slowed things down for the final encore, performing a snippet of I Will Always Love You followed by her sky-high power ballad Halo, the atmosphere was akin to a religious service. A tour not to be missed.
Info: Tickets still on sale for Beyonce’s remaining AllPhones Arena shows, November 1, 2, 3, through ticketek.com