Beyoncé at Toyota Center, 7/15/2013
Photos by Robin Harper/Inivision for Parkwood Entertainment/Courtesy of beyoncemediacenter.com
July 15, 2013
Beyoncé is on another level, and this is something we take for granted. It's easy to forget with this current crop of pop divas just how long she's been around: "Crazy In Love" hit No. 1 in 2003 back when Lady Gaga was only 17, Taylor Swift only 13.
But her greatness is not in longevity but in pure talent. Watching her onstage is watching a master at work: it almost becomes mundane because it looks too easy.
What's scary is not that someone this gifted exists -- we all know and understand that there are exceptionally talented folks out there. What's scary is that Beyoncé knows just how talented she is.
Monday night Beyoncé came home to Houston, and much like the woman herself, it was on another level.
The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour isn't held together by silly narratives, giant sets or lavish costumes. It's a show that is full of spectacle- fire, confetti, and fireworks all make appearances, not to mention that part where she flies above the audience- but it never feels like the spectacle is a crutch. Anything that exists in the show, from the stage setup, to the structure of the show, to the selection of the songs, exists to remind everyone that Beyoncé is not just a star, she's the star.
It's a refreshing change from shows where elaborate costuming and dance routines feel like they exist to fill space rather than enhance the music.
It's not that Beyoncé puts on a show that's vastly different from most modern pop artists. She plays in the tropes of the standard pop show- there are dancers and dance routines, band members get solos, did I mention the thing where she flies above the audience?- but at the same time she's also not afraid to stand out at the front of the stage on her own with a mic and tear the house down with her vocals.
It's a confidence that's lacking in the world of pop right now.