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Beyonce Izod Center show explains a lot
“The Mrs. Carter Show” explains a lot about how this year’s Beyoncé controversies have come about.
The stunningly polished spectacle at Izod Center Wednesday night can only be achieved through meticulous planning and exacting, repeated rehearsal. Queen B has clearly practiced everything – right down to how to look the most regal as she flies over the crowd on a harness.
It makes her decision to choose singing over a prerecorded musical track of the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration, instead of with a live band she hadn’t rehearsed with, more understandable. It makes clearer her unorthodox decision to hold back on releasing a new album – even when high-profile appearances, including the Super Bowl Halftime Show, and big-money ad campaigns, including Pepsi and H&M, were already in place.
Beyoncé is an all-in kind of performer. Or, as she declares in “Grown Woman,” “I’m a grown woman – I do whatever I want.”
She impressively sells every song to its fullest, from the intricate choreography of “Run the World (Girls)” to the bold visuals on her oversized video displays to the kiss-off sing-along “Irreplaceable.” She pushes a song to the hilt even when it may not be strong enough to merit the full Beyonce Treatment, such as the over-dramatic ballad “1+1,” which does become more bearable when she shortens it and delivers it on top of a grand piano.
At her best, though, B lets fans in on a little of her personality – playfully adding the theme from “The Jeffersons” and a New Orleans-styled call-and-response to “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” – and her now well-guarded personal life. “I slept in my own bed last night!” she said, as her world tour has finally reached the New York area, adding, “I have been waiting and waiting to perform for my hometown.” (She plays Barclays Center for three nights, starting Saturday.)
SETLIST: Run the World (Girls) / End of Time / Flaws and All / If I Were a Boy > Bittersweet Symphony / Get Me Bodied / Baby Boy / Diva / Naughty Girl > Love to Love You Baby / Party / Freakum Dress / I Care / I Miss You / Why Don't You Love Me / 1+1 / Irreplaceable / Love on Top / Survivor / Crazy in Love / Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) > Theme from ‘The Jeffersons’ / Grown Woman // ENCORE: I Will Always Love You > Halo