On The Run – now what?

The power couple that is Jay Z and Beyonce could be heard for miles in San Francisco on Aug. 5, 2014
The power couple that is Jay Z and Beyoncé could be heard for miles in San Francisco on Aug. 5, 2014

On Aug. 5 I had the distinct pleasure of being in attendance at one of the loudest performances ever at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Only Single Ladies singer Beyoncé and Dirt Off Your Shoulder rapper Jay Z could stroll into town and be heard for miles away from the venue.

That’s the kind of power this couple brought with them on what was their second to last show in the United States.

Seated on the floor to the left of the stage, I had one thing in the forefront of my mind – are the divorce rumors true?

I spent the entire night looking for clues that all is well in the Carter household. Rumors are not fact after all, and as the pair jumped from song to song I realized I could speculate, but would actually never really know what’s up with these two.

Beyoncé’s image is TIGHTLY controlled (too much sometimes), but like all of us, they are entitled to their privacy.

And that is how it should be. I don’t believe celebrities must share every single detail of their lives with their fans.

Giant screens ensured the crowd didn't miss a second of the stage action.
Giant screens ensured the crowd didn’t miss a second of the stage action.

I have to say, production-wise this concert was one of the best I’ve ever seen. This tour gave every paid attendee their money’s worth.

Bomb twin male dancers? Check. Great band? Check. Beyoncé’s showing her booty cheeks and swinging that hair up, down and around? Check!

Big budget-looking videos in between each costume change to keep the audience entertained and to give the performers a chance to catch their breath?

Check! Check! Check!

I rather enjoyed all of the movies – in the beginning. It eventually became one too many.

I get it, the videos are tied to the concert’s On The Run title, but I came to hear music, not watch TV.

Between them they have more than 200 songs, so choosing the set list for this show was probably a major undertaking.

I thought the duo’s song selection was a good mix – although I’m highly disappointed Beyoncé didn’t include Blow and Irreplaceable­ – especially Blow because that is one of the best songs on BEYONCE.

Going into the show, I already knew that both were top-notch entertainers (I’ve seen both before; Beyoncé once and Jay Z three time). Performing together, the expectations were probably much higher than usual.

OTR 8 5 14 Bey 3
Beyoncé was good, but something seemed amiss.

Trading the stage back and forth and back and forth again, Jay and Bey each held their own. It did appear, however, that Jay Z performed more of his songs in full when it was his turn, while Beyoncé would do one verse, the chorus and move on to the next one.

Sometimes, we only heard a single line from some Beyoncé songs.

Sidebar: I need Jay to stop cutting off the last verse of On To The Next One as that is my favorite.

Having been on tour since June, and I can only imagine the toll a show of this magnitude takes on an artist, so that may explain the lack of energy during some portions of the show.

Brooklyn's own Jay Z performed hit after hit.
Brooklyn’s own Jay Z performed hit after hit.

There were times when Beyoncé just looked disconnected; during close ups of her face, I interpreted some of her looks as “I’m ready for this to be over.”

That’s a look you never want to see from an artist who has spent the majority of her life building an entertainment empire.

Simply put: The energy and enthusiasm I’ve seen from her before just wasn’t as prevalent this go round.

Previously, she was more interactive and engaging with the fans.

Not so much this time.

At shows end, the married pair ended up in the middle of the field while performing a combination of Forever Young and Halo. I was so busy watching them watch their personal home videos that I missed a lot of what appeared on screen.

I was still observing them for signs, and I’ll be honest when I say I don’t think all is well with these two (everyone I went with agreed). There was a certain sadness Beyoncé carried on her face when performing a few songs – by herself and with her husband. It’s a sadness that one just can’t fake.

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When the show concluded, Jay leaned into and kissed his wife. Walking off the stage, arm-in-arm, my friends and I noticed how quickly Bey removed her arm once they were off stage.

These two have two more shows in Paris (for their HBO special) in September. Despite the photos Beyoncé keeps posting which seem to indicate all is well in Jay/Bey land, I won’t be surprised if they announce they are calling it quits soon thereafter.

Oh well. At least I had the chance to see them together!

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2 thoughts on “On The Run – now what?

  1. I wasn’t able to see the show. Everyone I know who did said that it was a great time. Like you, they said the production value was amazing.

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