To paraphrase JayZ “Yonce is the shit if I do say so myself”.
My experiences have taught me that much. She was well worth the wait to see her, let alone The Carters together on one stage. It was the opportunity of a lifetime and the hottest concert of the year. This blog is going to explain the long road to one of the greatest show experiences of my life.
Back in April 2013 in my “For Springing Ahead to My Busy Season” post (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2013/04/for-springing-ahead-to-my-busy-season.html), I mentioned the first time I ever saw Beyonce was when she performed with Destiny’s Child as a part of Z100’s Zootopia in 2000. That seems like a lifetime ago. I still remember that concert and especially their performance because I was so enjoying it. I would have never guessed that fourteen years later I would be seeking an impossible feat: a ticket to the “On the Run” Tour.
Unless you live under a rock you know this tour has been the talk of any town as JayZ and his wife Beyonce combined their talents for this first of a kind act. The mere merging of these two powerhouses has set the world of music a fire and I like everyone else wanted in. But despite my urge and sheer desire to go I never actually looked for tickets. I didn’t think they would magically appear on my doorstep but in some ways I suppose they did.
It all began last year when Beyonce was exploring the globe for her “Mrs. Carter” tour. The first time tickets were announced I marked my calendar, set up email reminders, and had my credit card in my hand an hour before they were set to go on sale. Apparently the rest of her fans had the same thoughts in their heads. What ensued was two hours of busy signals and a crashed website. Then when it was up and running again wouldn’t you know they were all sold out? Besides the face that I couldn’t get a seat there was already the obstacle of the price. Tickets were being sold for hundreds of dollars by the promoter and scalpers and their organizations were reselling them for just about a thousand a piece. I know she is famous but give me an f-cking break, nothing is worth that.
So I gave up my dream of seeing her. But then another group of tickets came out, she was adding dates on for the end of that year. So once again I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and prepared to start my preparation process all over again.
Can you guess what happened? That’s right. I didn’t get those tickets either. If anything they went faster if that’s possible. I was devastated and pissed off, hence this discussion in my aforementioned blog.
After that annoyance I accepted that in wasn’t in the cards for me to see Beyonce live in concert again. Then as fate would have it the “On the Run” tour was announced. I never gave it a second thought. Sure I wanted to go and all of the press was making it harder and harder to ignore. But I had learned my lesson. I wasn’t about to get my hopes up once more. Besides there weren’t any N.Y.C. dates posted. I would have to go to New Jersey……………….so to New Jersey I would eventually go.
About a month before the dates at the Met Life Stadium (formerly Giants Stadium) in New Jersey were to take place, a friend took a lull at work to look up and price tickets. Thank God she did. She is apparently the concert whisperer. She was able to score tickets in a great location for a reasonable price. It was as simple as all that! One phone and we were in. I could hardly control my excitement. I knew that this monumental date was the show I was meant to see.
The next few weeks flew by in a blur. Every day I looked at the calendar as the countdown continued until there were only mere days separating HER and me.
On the big day the weather was perfect. This is a big concern because the show is outside, rain or shine. It wasn’t too hot and there was a breeze in the air. We left extra early to avoid traffic. We were lucky there too. It seems that everything was going our way that day.
Once we were there my anxiety was increasing. I felt like I was waiting longer there for the show to start than I had between getting the ticket and the actual day of the event. It turns out spending some extra time at the MetLife Stadium wasn’t a bad thing.
MetLife Stadium is unlike any concert arena I have been to. It exceeded all of my expectations and I have to say that even if I didn’t see a show I would have been equally satisfied hanging out there all night. What made it so special was most definitely the Chase Club. Or what I called it all night, the Chase Lounge. Contrary to experiences I have had recently, most notably at the Barclay Center last year (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2013_05_01_archive.html). At that time I couldn’t get something as basic as an escalator to ascend to my dangerously steep seat or even something as mundane as mayo for our sandwiches. However, I needed have worried there in Jersey.
The MetLife stadium is the most expensive stadium ever built and has the largest permanent seating capacity in the entire N.F.L. It also has the distinguishing character of being the only stadium in the N.F.L. to host two steams; the Giants and the Jets. Add in the Chase Club and you have one of one hell of an entertainment facility.
What is it you say that makes this place so magnificent? For starters I didn’t have to sweat and climb stairs, they actually had working escalators. Next we encountered the Chase Club. I could have literally written a blog about how great that was but I will try to reel it in here. Besides mayo, the array of food and beverage choices was mind blowing. This includes but not limited to condiments, too bad that I couldn’t say the same when I went to the Barclay Center (http://thequeenoff-ckingeverything.blogspot.com/2013/05/for-brand-new-concert-experience-alicia.html).
As I walked further and into the heart of the Club my excitement became hard to control. My first instinct was that this was not a place for the public. It seemed like a V.I.P. area. But low and behold it was for us!
The first thing that excited me was Rita’s Italian ices. Normally when I go out, since I do not drink alcohol because of my migraines, I am limited to water (minus the cap) and maybe a dead soft pretzel if I am lucky.
Here though, the world of wonder was at my fingertips. I had an ice immediately and then looked around. There was a sushi bar, burgers being grilled in front of us, any kind of sandwich and side you can imagine. They even had a kosher food stand. Impressive!
After my crew had a few drinks and I finished my ice we chilled for a bit on the couches looking out onto the stage. It was an amazing time of day with the sun setting it was simply gorgeous.
As the start time approached we made one more run for French fries, I mean you just have to, and then we headed out. There more was more to be happy about when I took my seat. For starters I fit in the seat. You never know these days every place usually wants to squish in as many people so it’s likely my purse although on my lap is also hitting the lady in front of me. But not here. Here I had enough room for my hips and my legs. Such a blessing. Then there was the cup holder that was in a good location to reach and not have to pick up every time someone wanted to get by.
These thrills allowed me to take in the sunset, great breeze, all while I ate my fries and water, for which I was also allowed to keep my cap. I have gone to Broadway plays when they take it from you. I could not believe this place. All of this entertained me for the hour or so that we sat they’re waiting for the show to start.
I am a punctual girl. I need A.I.S. time- that is ass in seat time. If you tell me a time I expect to see you then, not a minute earlier or later. I am always on time especially for performances because I don’t want to miss a thing. I wish someone had given the Carters this message.
Turns out then went on stage an hour AFTER the start time. This did not sit too well with me. I did however like that there wasn’t an opening act. Sometimes watching a performer you don’t like while you wait for whom you are really there to see makes you more anxious for the real show to begin. Unless, of course that too is why I am there.
But in a flash the lights went out and I heard the beginning of “Bonnie and Clyde”. IMMEDIATELY everyone in this stadium was on there feet screaming as loud as they could. The energy was palpable. It felt like anything was possible.
The set list was a comprehensive mix of their big hits and fan favorites, both separately and together. These are the songs I most wanted to hear: "Crazy in Love", “Run the World (Girls)", "Flawless","Yoncé","Dirt off Your Shoulder", “Baby Boy", "Drunk in Love", "Partition", "99 Problems", "If I Were a Boy", "Love on Top", "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)", "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)", "Young Forever", and "Halo".
Everything you have heard is true, they were playful, affectionate, and on fire. Their chemistry cannot be denied. They fed off each other’s energy and every song was flawlessly executed. I could hardly keep up with them watching their every move. There were no breaks despite the many costume changes for both him and her. When they weren’t singing together they seemed to toss it back and forth and never missed a beat. This went on for over two hours! I was so pleased they were worth the wait. I had fears of them singing for an hour and me having to curse myself for even going. When it came to Mrs. Carter she was the most impressive as she was singing and dancing and tossing that beautiful mane of hair. I can’t believe she never was out of breath; she is like an Olympic athlete.
Part of the New York Times review (link below) mentions how powerful they were without having to diminish each other’s careers. This is so true especially in today’s world. Part of what I love about Beyonce is her pro-women attitude in her lyrics. The Times review also talked about how they kept their relationship so private for so long (they have been together for twelve years) that now seeing them perform together, showing private videos during the show, and even just seeing them openly embrace felt like a privilege. Its like you were being welcomed into their world. For the record it was exactly like that.
I also read somewhere that when it came to Beyonce’s latest album and new racy lyrics, marriage never seemed so sexy. That is most definitely part of their appeal. They look in love and like they turn the world on with their charm. Apparently they also turn on the facet pouring with money. This tour is estimated to bring in four million dollars PER show.
These two are truly a power couple. In this country they are as close to royalty as we can get. Actually they are better because they have talents to share with the world and when they decide to make history by sharing the stage as well, we must all give thanks.
I wish I lived near or was going to Cleveland, Ohio because there is going to be an amazing exhibit just on Beyonce. This rare treat will feature many of her famous wardrobes including her infamous “Single Ladies” leotard and outfits from her Super Bowl performance. Beyonce is not currently in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an inductee (she won’t qualify until 2022). To have an exhibit anyway is highly unusual. This has only happened one other time, back in 2012 for a tribute to Lady Gaga. This exhibit opened on July 22, 2014 (http://www.eonline.com/news/561117/beyonce-is-getting-her-own-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-exhibit). No word yet how long it will be on display or if it will be moved to another part of a country afterward. I am keeping my fingers crossed that an exhibit of any kind will go to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
“My aspiration is to be happy.”- Beyonce Knowles
Mine too Beyonce. And that night I certainly was.
“Bow down bitches!”
For tour information so that you too can be “On the Run”:
For Those Who Cannot See the Tour:
For the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: