Live Review: Beyonce - The Staples Center, Los Angeles
Tue, 14 Jul 2009 08:38:51
Beyonce is one classy chick.
Her Sasha Fierce show at the Staples Center was more evocative of classic film moments than it was of blinged-out modern R&B bombast. In fact, Beyonce would rather nod to the likes of golden age film stars then she would anyone else, and that was instantly apparent from the Broadway style production and incredible costumes. She's also got some of the best pipes in the biz. That combination of vocal brilliance and incredible presentation makes for a must-see show.
Beyonce came out with a bang. As the giant curtains on stage opened up, she emerged in front of her all-female band in a haze of smoke. She looked heavenly walking to the center of the stage, and she instantly launched into "Crazy In Love." The crowds' screams almost enveloped the song's chorus, and Beyonce opened the door into her very own dreamland for the next two hours. Tribal beats from the band signaled the beginning of "Naughty Girl as Beyonce perfectly executed the dance moves while belting out the song's hook. "Freakum Dress" showed just how good her moves can be as she slid across the stage with style and a seductiveness all her own.
She rocked an epic "Get Me Bodied," exclaiming, "Los Angeles, I think ya'll are ready to dance!" She was right; the audience exploded into its own frenzy from the floor to the rafters.
The standout moment was when Beyonce took a step back and simply sang. Clad in a flowing classy white nightgown, she stood raised on the stage in front of an ocean on the screen. Hair and gown flowing, she carried "Smash Into You" and "Ava Maria" to heights of pure pop perfection. As she stood there, the scene looked like something out of From Here to Eternity, and Beyonce's radiance captivated every pair of eyes in the venue.
During these quieter passages, she pulled out verses from Sarah Mclachlan's "Angel" and then eventually Alanis Morissette's "You Oughtta Know" putting her own spin on both songs and imbuing a piece of Miss Fierce on both. Of course, she sped things up again with a fiery and bouncy "If I Were A Boy," donning aviator police shades and flanked by policewoman dancers.
"Diva" and "Ego" sounded epic. However, another great moment came during "Radio." In the background a video of a five-year-old Beyonce singing and dancing played. It was quite powerful to see the superstar come full circle. With a smile, holding back a tear, she said, "That's when I discovered my love for my radio and music."
We're all glad that she did because she's got some of the biggest and best hits to light up the airwaves in the past decade. "Single Ladies" and "Irreplaceable" were exciting and engaging, showing why she owns the radio now.
The Broadway-style moments such as Beyonce suspended above the crowd and performing mid-venue on another stage certainly kept up the action. However, all she needs to do is step back and let her voice do the talking.
She's in a class by herself.