Beyonce and Jay-Z, self-described as “the queen” and “the gangster,” opened the New Orleans stop of their On the Run II tour the same way they concluded it: Holding hands and presenting a united front.
In between the domestic bliss of their entrance and exit, the pop music’s reigning power couple presided over a (mostly) high-energy mash-up of their respective styles, a mash-up that, more often than not, flattered them both. For nearly two-and-a-half hours in a Superdome with a smattering of empty upper-level seats at show time, they took turns fronting a live band arrayed on a four-story, “Hollywood Squares”-style grid. That grid was often hidden behind the two halves of the massive LED screen that served as a stage backdrop, showcasing artfully shot footage — sometimes sexy, sometimes sweet — of the couple and their children in various exotic settings.
They tapped one another in or out like the ultimate celebrity wrestling tag team, but spent about as much time onstage together, alternating verses or lending an extra voice to the other’s songs.
Early in the show, the big screen — as broad and brilliant as the one U2 deployed at the Dome during its “Joshua Tree” 30th anniversary tour last year — flashed the message, “This is real life.”
If so, the real life of Beyonce and Jay-Z, like Thursday’s show, must be one of glitter and grit, careful management and compromise, one that is writ large and occasionally thrilling.
Check back later for a full review.
On Sept. 24, 2016, Beyonce brought her eye-popping Formation World Tour to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. All 45,000 or so available tickets sol…
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