Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Live review: Beyonce, Time Warner Cable Arena (7/27/13)

Posted By on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Time Warner Cable Arena
July 27, 2013

  • Rob Hoffman/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images

This year has been huge for R&B singer Beyoncé, since getting back in the game after having baby Blue Ivy. She "sung" the National Anthem at President Obama's second inauguration; she performed at this year's Superbowl half-time show, offering a short Destiny's Child reunion with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams; she celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary with Jay Z in Cuba (garnering some criticism); she won a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance for her single "Love on Top"; and she released her feature-length documentary film, Life Is But a Dream on HBO.

And then she came to Charlotte.

Beyoncé, Queen Bey, Mrs. Carter - whatever you want to call her - made a stop at Time Warner Cable Arena this past Saturday on her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. And yes, those magnificent thighs were in full effect.

While I'm hardly a member of The Beyhive, I have to admit: Beyoncé is an amazing singer and performer. With the first drop of the beat on "Run the World (Girls)," I became a willing participant in her show. I thrust my fist into the air and sang along as loud as possible - "Who run the world? Girls! Who run the world? GIRLS!" - as the "Queen" bounced her shoulders up and down, twisting her legs in a remixed form of the old dance The Butterfly, her hair flying wildly off her face. (Side note: Her hair is like another backup dancer, isn't it?)

But what about the men in the audience? How invested can a dude get into a Beyoncé concert - Beyoncé, known for her girl power, independent woman, "Survivor" message - without violating man code? Well, that was what my 31-year-old boyfriend wondered, and posted this question on his Facebook page prior to the show:

On a scale from 1 to the Carlton Dance, how hard can a brotha dance to Single Ladies by ‪#‎Beyonce‬ before he is in violation of ‪#‎ManLaw‬?

Here are the responses he got:
"That's a negative 3."
"Same spot move head up n down lol."
"it's only a man law violation if you know the ACTUAL choreography from the video. dance on, minion!!"
"Take that tampon out and repent by listening to 'I Need A Hot Girl' by The Hot Boys."
"Anything past 'nod your head' or 'tap your feet'"
"complete violation"
"2 step with a little twist, elbows in..."

The energy she poured into her performance - after the second song ("End of Time"), she was already reaching for a towel to wipe away sweat - was indeed contagious. You know how sometimes singers will kind of step to the middle of the stage and focus on busting out some great vocals for a minute while their backup dancers continue to rock moves - but really they're trying to rest a minute before jumping back in the mix? Yeah, that wasn't Beyoncé. She kept up with her dance crew throughout most of the show - and made me realize that I need to go back to the gym.

So it's no surprise that my boyfriend - and a bunch of other men in the audience, I noticed - found it difficult to not move a little during her energetic dance songs. (Later, during one of Beyonce's many costume changes, he'd post on Facebook: "Fuck the ‪#‎ManCode‬ for the next hour or two!")

A Beyoncé concert is incredibly empowering for women. She's authentic in her message; the only guys performing on the tour are two energetic Parisian twin dancers. "When you become a woman, you celebrate who you are," she says at one point.

She reaches out to ladies of all walks of life: the dedicated wife (early on, while establishing rapport with the audience, she teases us to say, "Hey, Mrs. Carter" - hey, I'd be proud to be Jay Z's wife, too); the party girl (yes, she busted out the signature dance to "Single Ladies" - and, shamefully, I did too); and the hustling businesswoman (during "Grown Woman," the preceding video offered plenty of safari imagery, with Beyoncé centerstage, of course, alluding to the notion of women having the capability to conquer the jungle).

But Saturday night's concert wasn't just for the ladies. It was a show for anyone who appreciates the powerful voice of an authentic performer. For her closing song, Beyoncé led with Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" before transitioning into "Halo."


Run the World (Girls)
End of Time
Flaws and All
If I Were a Boy
Get Me Bodied
Baby Boy
Naughty Girl
Freakum Dress
I Care
I Miss You
Schoolin' Life
Why Don't You Love Me
Love on Top
Survivor (Destiny's Child cover)
Crazy in Love
Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
Grown Woman
I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton cover)

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