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Beyoncé makes ambitious return to stage


Beyoncé, like any other working mom, is balancing her work life with her home life.

Though her daughter, Blue Ivy, is not quite 5 months old, Beyoncé felt a strong desire to return to her career in a big way this weekend with four sold-out shows to open the new $2.4-billion Revel Resort in Atlantic City.

"I haven't been on the stage for a whole year," she said, adding that she had to lose 60 pounds before she could get back into freakum-dress shape. "Y'all don't know how hard I had to work. They had me running on that treadmill, eating lettuce."

"Tonight," Beyoncé told a capacity crowd that included first lady Michelle Obama and first daughters Sasha and Malia, "I'm getting chocolate-wasted." She certainly deserves the celebration. Her Revel concert Saturday night is her most ambitious live show yet, stretching more than two hours, with 12 dancers and an 11-piece backing band.

There were so many striking visual images on stage and on screen, the show felt like a Pinterest board come to life -- packed with bold colors and graphics, elegant modern dance positions and video clips. Beyoncé made sure the music was just as hard-hitting as the visuals. She zoomed through jazz ("Love on Top"), hip-hop ("Diva") and Middle-Eastern-meets-disco rhythms ("Naughty Girl" spliced with Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby") with remarkable energy.

Then came the ballads. She did six in a row before offering up "Irreplaceable" as a massive sing-along, sapping the show's momentum, though she effortlessly kick-started it with an extended version of "Countdown." The way she paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston with a stunning a cappella version of "I Will Always Love You" before moving into "Halo" showed that her vocal workouts must be as strenuous as her gym workouts.


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