Published on May 16, 2013 | by Sean McKee

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Beyoncé, 02 Arena, London

[illustration: Roshni Maher]

@SeanJPMcKee

It’s hard to believe that at the tender age of 32, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles is embarking on her third decade in the music industry.

Having been part of one of the most successful girl bands in history, Destiny’s Child, since the age of 9, selling more than 50 million records across the globe, she has broken free to become one of the most popular and successful female performers of her generation.

Having gone public with her pregnancy during the release of her last album, Four, this tour was announced with much anticipation; its been almost five years since her 108 date I…AM world tour broke records and mesmerized adoring crowds. However, with the anticipation comes pressure, how on Earth was she going to top the concert that went on to become the biggest selling music DVD of all time?

Comeback

Kick-starting her year with an awesome return to showbiz, performing at the “Super Bowl Halftime Show” in March, she was sure to guarantee fans that, despite no new material being released ahead of the tour, she wouldn’t disappoint. Almost every song in her back catalogue was re-worked by her all female, live band; bringing fresh new feels to the likes of anthems such as Halo, Single Ladies and Crazy in Love.

Despite the abundance of costume changes, Bey did not seem to stop for the entire two hour set, cracking her way through the majority of her hit singles, and the previously unperformed tracks from her last studio album Four.

Every track was performed with the singer’s usual aplomb, flipping her trademark wave and delivering intense (and incredible) choreography to the ecstatic crowd. The intensity of her delivery shows fans just how dedicated she is to her role as an entertainer; many fellow pop stars would be in awe at her ability to crack out a flawless vocal performance, while perfectly executing a choreographed dance routine from some of the world’s best dancers.

Zip-lining and Lycra

Managing to make zip-lining across the almost 20,000 strong crowd look like she’s going for a walk with her poodle in the park, the R&B star brought the house down with a stunning performance of her single Love on Top, reworking her famous 2010 VMA performance in a purple, sparkly Lycra jumpsuit: not something most women would even consider trying to pull off, but execute the look she did. Bey immersed herself into the crowd for photos and exchanges of towels etc. showing just how much her aptly named “Bey-hive” means to her, even being reduced to tears while singing a song dedicated to the fans who love her, Flaws And All.

Fans still have the excitement of new material however, which she touched upon by closing the show with new single Grown Woman, the track featured on her $100 million dollar endorsed Pepsi commercial. Her fifth studio album looks set to be the most anticipated LP of the year, and with the rest of her tour to complete and a few festival appearances booked, 2013 looks set to be the year of ‘Queen’ Bey.

 

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