One of our editors survived The Formation World Tour in Atlanta and reports back.
Beyonce took over the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for another sold-out show on her Formation World Tour. Because filling more than 50,000 seats and all available parking spots earlier in the year wasn’t enough. The queen returned for a second show. And I was excited to see Madame Knowles-Carter for the first time in my hometown. But I wasn’t ready for the force of Beyonce’ where there was actual confetti coming from the sky. Here’s why I’m still recovering.
Beyonce’s Career is in College
“Thank you for allowing me to do what I love for 20 years. Thank you for allowing me to grow and evolve. Thanks for riding for me,” Beyonce’ said in her fourth wardrobe change from the stage after belting and dancing for two hours, singing “Love On Top” with not a drop of music as her voice bounced off the walls, doing that sexy “Partition” chair flip and so much more. Y’all. Beyoncé has been a professional performer for TWO DECADES. That’s not counting the childhood preparation she did before “No, No, No” dropped when she was 16. I have been a stan since. And 20 years later her game is so strong and the show’s heart and precision is her best.
Women with Melanin for the Win
What I didn’t know was that the Formation World Tour ticket also grants you access to the Black Girl Magic convention where brown dancers rock fros, braids and bantu knots hanging from the sky like it’s Cirque Du Soleil, The Mamas belt out and the all-female band featuring badass bass player Lauren "LT" Taneil gives you all the feels. Before Beyoncé hits the stage, screens project videos of some of the Black female performers she’s signed to Parkwood Entertainment like fellow Texan Ingrid and Chloe & Halle, who can sang. The Mamas member Montina Cooper also has a new album, Closer.
Rep Yo City
Before our patron performer could hit the Atlanta stage we were laid out by DJ Khaled’s opening set. Local surprise guests included T.I., Jermaine Dupri and The Dream. And the crowd about lost it when Usher and Ludacris came out and performed “Yeah” and “Lovers & Friends.” 2 Chainz made his way next. My sister and I walked in behind former Falcons star Jamal Anderson and spotted Real Housewives star Cynthia Bailey. It all felt like an Atlanta homecoming. And this was just the pre-game. During the concert the drummer Venzella Joy Williams (See: #BlackGirlMagic) threw up her A after a solo and Beyoncé danced to “Dey Know,” in tribute to the recent passing of Shawty Lo.
Team so Tight
The fact that I can say “I saw Julius” and you know who I am talking about tells us the levels of life Beyonce is living. That she keeps her team consistent speaks to loyalty and a tight circle. So I did see Julius, Bey’s long-term bodyguard carrying an empty garment bag as I was walking in the VIP entrance. And the reason I was walking in that entrance is because Beyoncé’s publicist Yvette Noel-Schure (see: #BlackGirlMagic) is a boss, and has had Bey as a client for those 20 years we talked about. Seeing Yvette in action is a master class in getting ish done. We gotta step our game up y’all.
She’s a Business, Man
As we awaited Beyoncé’s epic entrance with that hat to “Formation,” videos ran of some of her businesses. There’s Ivy Park her fitness and athleisure apparel line, Chime for Change, the global campaign she co-founded to raise funds and awareness for girls and women, her company and record label Parkwood Entertainment and Tidal, where she is an owner. Our icon is busy behind the stage. Yet in a parade of stunning wardrobe changes from a red leather leotard and fur coat to copper sequin two piece sets for Beyoncé and her 20-deep dance squad, she comes out in a rhinestone denim jacket with a hood, something your favorite auntie would wear. And I loved it. They really can’t take the country or Blackness out of her, even as she flips her empire into a dynasty for women.
We’re All Kinda Beyoncé
What struck me the hardest during The Formation World Tour was how human Bey is. I’ve seen her in New York, at ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans and her first show after birthing Blue in New Jersey. And this was the most connected I felt to Beyoncé at her concert. After dropping Lemonade, the soundtrack of the soul for generations of Black women, like a lot of us my spirit connected with Bey in a deeper way. As Dust to Sidechicks blazed across the massive screen, it was clear Mrs. Carter has been through some things and not hiding her truth. “The most important relationship in life is the relationship you have with yourself. How you see yourself is how the world sees you,” she said before performing “Me, Myself and I.” “If you are a woman, you are strong. Nothing in this world can stop you. You are never alone. God is right here. We always know the answer. We can hear God’s voice.”
Ok, ladies now let’s get in formation.