REVIEW: The Renaissance World Tour, Beyoncé
Written by Tyler Selby on 24th May 2023
Sparkly cowboy hats adorned Sunderland as Beyoncé returned to the Stadium of Light on Tuesday, May 23, as part of her Renaissance tour.
It was not the first time Queen Bey has come to the region, having previously brought her Lemonade tour to the city back in 2016.
We were eased in at the start of the show, as Beyoncé performed some slower tracks from earlier on in her discography, giving the chance for Beyoncé to flex her next level vocals, on tracks such as 1+1 and I Care.
Then it was time for the Renaissance. Excitement built as Beyoncé went into the album opener, I’M THAT GIRL, and others from the new album. This was when we were met with that fierce choreography we were waiting for. Not one inch of the stage was untouched throughout the show, giving people from wherever they were the chance to see Beyoncé and her dancers.
The show will inevitably be met with some mixed reviews, as Beyoncé didn’t sing all of her classics, with hits such as Halo and Single Ladies omitted in favour of tracks from her latest album, which was performed in order of its tracklist throughout the show. However, how do you perform all of your greatest hits when you have so many? Personally, I’m a fan of how Beyoncé pushes forward and provides a different live experience with each era, immersing us in the full Renaissance experience this time around.
Many expectations were met. Big vocals and powerful choreography were a given, and we were treated to several costume changes. At one point, Beyoncé was dressed as a bee, in reference to her name. But there were no noticeable breaks, as the show managed to keep a consistent flow with an impressive set of backing dancers and visuals to keep the crowd entertained. There were also some interesting props throughout the performances, such as a circle of microphones that surround Beyoncé at one point, as well as robotic arms and a silver tank to name but a few.
The show, much like the album, paid homage to the culture that inspired it, such as Black ball culture, dance music and club culture. A particular highlight is later in the show during PURE/HONEY, where her dancers are given their moment to shine, which was met with a great response from the crowd, keeping the energy going into the show closer.
What a show closer that was, by the way. Returning to the stage on a sparkly silver horse prop, just like that of her album cover, Beyoncé then begins to take flight, soaring around the arena to thank the people for coming to see her. The most beautifully extravagant sign off for what was a real experience.