Beyoncé has taken on a variety of roles during her decade-long solo career. She was the reassuring friend who guided you through a break-up in “Irreplaceable.” She was the new mother who unveiled her baby bump at an awards show with “Love on Top.” She has also been the untouchable pop star who reminded women to lean in with “Run the World (Girls),” while still chastising men who are afraid of commitment in “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).” But mostly she is the celebrity all young women want to dance with on the weekends.
On Friday night, ladies of Uncasville, CT left their men at home to see Mrs. Carter perform at Mohegan Sun Arena as part of her ongoing world tour. In a set that saw numerous costume changes, elaborate choreography, raining pyrotechnics and bursts of confetti, Beyoncé took on all of these personas, while adding a new one to her repertoire: Marie Antoinette for Millenials.
The concert opened with a striking video of Beyoncé with a powdered face and regal attire. The drumbeats of “Who Runs the World (Girls)” kicked in as Beyoncé tore through the stage flanked by background dancers in white unitards and ankle boots. In between songs, the singer continued to show video interstitials where she mused on love and life in the spotlight as she posed artfully in elaborate costumes: a high-fashion pilot, a twerking monarch and an independent woman who happened to marry a world-famous rapper. Early in the show, she encouraged fans to address her with shouts of “Hey, Mrs. Carter!”
With cocked hips and hair whips, the pop diva continued to draw in the audience as she covered highlights from her songbook with an all-female back-up band. She writhed onstage to club anthem “Naughty Girl” and her muscular version of “If I Were a Boy” was punctuated with the melody of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” Beyoncé later walked through the aisles and sang her hit “Love on Top” and Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor” in a ring-shaped podium at the center of the arena. When she returned to the main stage, the crowd predictably lost their minds when she performed “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies” back-to-back.
Cementing her role as reigning royalty was an elegantly delivered cover of Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You.” Striking a simple and graceful figure onstage, the songstress sang the familiar heartfelt melody a capella to the crowd, before bringing the house down with a soulful rendition of “Halo” and proving she is every woman we all want her to be.