THE TALON

Beyoncé & Jay Z Make Columbia Go “APES**T”

Beyoncé and Jay Z showed that "EVERYTHING IS LOVE" to Williams-Brice Stadium.

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On August 21, 2018 Beyoncé and Jay Z brought their joint “On The Run II” tour to over 40,000 people in Columbia, SC.

The concert featured two opening acts: sisters Chloe X Halle and producer DJ Khaled. Overall they offered extremely underwhelming performances, and possessed no real stage presence. The sound and vocals for Chloe X Halle were poorly mixed making it often difficult to understand what they were saying. DJ Khaled, after incorrectly addressing the city as “Columbus”, played around 10 seconds of a song before switching to a new one and added no substance to his pre-recorded tracks.

The real show began when the lights cut out and deep, booming bass shook the arena as the words “THIS IS REAL LIFE” flashed along 3 LED screens spanning the entire stage, setting the overall theme of the rest of the show. Shortly after, Beyoncé and Jay Z appeared on a platform high above the stage and descended as the first of the 36 song set, “Holy Grail”, began blaring throughout the stadium. Intermixed between the songs were videos with scenes depicting the celebrity power couple experiencing relationship struggles, expressing the idea that their love is “REAL LIFE”, as stated at the beginning of the concert.

Beyoncé stole the show with her performances demonstrating her amazing vocal abilities and skillful dancing. She made good use of the massive stage by knowing when to go all out and when to restrain herself. A highlight of the whole concert was when all the flashing lights went away and Beyoncé sat at the front of one of the catwalks and gave a show-stopping rendition of her reworked version of “Resentment”. The final song by the Carters, “APES**T”, left concert goers hyped up with energy as Beyoncé gave closing remarks, thanking the attendees and giving credit to the crowd, band, crew, and dancers for making a night worth remembering.

Jay Z was able to hold his own as well even when Beyoncé was not on stage, performing old hits as well as new songs from his 2017 album 4:44.

The stage work was equally as impressive as the performances. Columns of fire and pulsing strobe lights added to the intensity of some songs, while fireworks lit up the sky in moments of triumph. The massive screens were put to good use with visuals accompanying many of the songs, yet never distracting from the main focus, being Beyoncé and Jay Z.

A drawback of the experience had to do with the Williams-Brice Stadium. Seating did not accommodate for the number of people attending, making standing and sitting often uncomfortable and at times impossible due to the line of people packed into one row. The heat was also an issue made worse by the tight rows and the stadium concessions ran out of water very quickly, which added to the discomfort, and made it downright dangerous for the concert goers. One woman even passed out due to the heat and dehydration.

Overall, the concert experience proved to be one of the best of the year, rivaling current music juggernauts like Taylor Swift, Travis Scott, and Camila Cabello. The tickets were also fairly priced before they started to be resold by ticket scalpers. Despite lackluster openers, the Carters provided a stellar night filled with unforgettable moments and performances.

Rating: 4/5

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