Beyoncé thrills Vancouver faithful with concert heavy on female empowerment, costumes, and glitz

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      At Rogers Arena on Saturday, November 30

      Hordes of women packed a sold-out Rogers Arena for an evening of selfies, squeals, empowerment, and feeling awesome about how their bodies look when squeezed into the latest offerings from Sirens. Who cares that the Mrs. Carter Show wasn't in support of a new album? The incredibly thirsty, fecund crowd would not be denied their moment on this rainy November evening.

      The lights dimmed, the curtain dropped, and the first of many video interludes played. Cue pyrotechnics, an 11-piece band, nine back-up dancers in couture birdcage skirts, and two French breakdancing twins, the lone possessors of Y-chromosomes to grace the stage. And then she arose from a trap door in the stage. The Queen Bey herself was among us mere mortals in Vancouver for the first time since 2009 and she looked incredible. Cue goose bumps, glass-shattering shrieks, and unadulterated glee.

      After correctly identifying what city she was in, to the delight of everyone, the 32-year-old pop deity launched into "Who Run The World (Girls)". As the chants of "Who run this mutha? / Girls" spread, the gender pay gap was completely forgotten by those singing along. And if you’re like me, a textbook example of white male privilege, it immediately became clear that you’d best keep your fucking snide comments to yourself for the next hour and 35 minutes.

      While the strategically placed electric fans that kept Sasha Fierce's shiny, full-bodied mane aflutter throughout the show were a nice touch, the stage set-up was standard fare. There also weren't many moments where she veered off the show's script and interacted with the faithful—save touching the hands of a few lucky BeyHive members up-front, which, presumably, has the same effect as drinking out of the Holy Grail.

      Beyoncé more than made up for this with a healthy dose of hits from her four solo albums coupled with her exceptional stage presence, elaborate choreography, and nonstop costume changes. (The lime green, leopard-printed fringe minidress was especially stunning.)

      At one point in the show, while sporting a blue sequined bodysuit, she flew over the crowd to an auxiliary stage shaped like the letter B. Once there she performed "Irreplaceable", "Survivor" by Destiny's Child, the sing-alongiest sing-along of the evening, and "Love On Top" before flying back to the mainland. (She didn't actually fly. But the consensus was if Beyoncé put her analytical Virgo mind to it, she could soar like a fierce bald eagle without the assistance of wires.)

      After another costume change, she returned to the stage. We were simultaneously ready for this jelly while being unable to handle it. It, in this case, were the megahits "Crazy in Love" and a version "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" that featured a snippet of the theme from The Jeffersons, something less than one percent of the audience was old and sober enough to recognize.

      It could have ended there and everyone would have still walked out with an odd perma-grin that's usually reserved for people indoctrinated into UFO cults. But no, not enough tears had flowed yet. After a video that included shots of her singing for Barack Obama (‘Yay’) and holding Blue Ivy ('Aww'), Beyoncé belted out a brief cover of "I Will Always Love You" before seguing into the equally emotional "Halo" to end the unforgettable evening.

      Excluding the woman who got ejected for barfing her guts out in a garbage can in the men’s washroom in section 109, it’s impossible anyone left this show disappointed. It was wicked entertainment with an empowering message: women everywhere can move on up in a man's world. You just need to be a leggy Mel Ramos-esque beauty who's also a once-in-a-generation talent that's worth a billion dollars and married to Jay Z. It's that simple. 



      It's not just women

      Dec 1, 2013 at 10:36am

      "Hordes of women packed a sold-out Rogers Arena for an evening of selfies, squeals, empowerment, and feeling awesome about how their bodies look..."

      You could use the same words to describe men watching MMA.


      Dec 1, 2013 at 12:01pm

      Yes, it was apparent by all the 13 year old girls wearing nonexistent skirts and knee high boots at the concert that Beyonce is a fine female role model. Just keep dancing in your underwear, Beyonce, you'll change the world!


      Dec 1, 2013 at 12:49pm

      Great review. Great show. Great night. Once in a generation talent indeed!

      Sarah B

      Dec 2, 2013 at 2:27pm

      I don't even like Beyonce and this reads like a douchereview. How incredibly edgy, burn on women for...existing in numbers? Liking something Mr. Mann (ha!) doesn't like? Cutting edge, dude.


      Dec 2, 2013 at 5:34pm

      The show really was great, besides the break between opening act and Beyonce being longer than Beyonces actual performance, and her leaving off a number of songs that she performed at other stops on the tour. And then there's the 5 commercials the crowd was forced to watch after paying $250+ for tickets. But besides the commercialism and extremely high prices for EVERYTHING, the show was amazing and Beyonce sang her heart out. I left very happy.


      Dec 2, 2013 at 6:54pm

      guess jay Z put the nix on that "bob cut" she was sporting last month-she must have to glue the wig down-so so much for her "empowerment" and that no one would ever her watch her sing (lipsync) unless she is in her underwear or less doesn't seem very empowering-in fact it's down right degrading -poptard trash is such a bunch of fake poser image BS

      Chris Mac

      Dec 2, 2013 at 7:24pm

      Too bad I missed a fantastic show.

      Hooked on phonects worked for me

      Dec 2, 2013 at 8:15pm

      @ Sarah B. Your dumb comments don't make sense.Go back to school.

      Pat Crowed

      Jan 30, 2014 at 12:40pm

      That was probably the most incredible musical experience I've ever had. Nothing I've seen previously could compare to the artistry and talent I was exposed to at this show.