Social Encore: Going ‘On the Run’ in L.A.
BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
When it comes to major concerts, only a few pass through Honolulu during the typical calendar year. After my best friend from San Diego recently told me she had an extra ticket to Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “On the Run Tour” waiting for me in Los Angeles, I just knew I had to re-route my trip to Brazil.
And so, on Saturday I experienced a show that kicked off my vacation in the right way.
First, we grabbed dinner in Santa Monica and then made our way to Pasadena. A lot of my friends arrived at the Rose Bowl early to grab parking and tailgate until showtime.
I was excited for this concert because I was going to see music royalty and one of the music industry’s leading power couples. I’ve followed these two throughout their careers and was lucky enough to witness them in the flesh. Sure, our seats weren’t floor seats, but the difference about watching artists perform on television versus being at an actual concert is the energy in the venue. It becomes an experience in itself that is priceless.
Prior to their concert, Beyonce and Jay-Z released a short film online as a teaser of what fans can expect. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, it depicted a scenario of a couple on the run from the law, featuring star celebrities such as Rashida Jones, Sean Penn and Jake Gyllenhaal.
As soon as the concert started, I jumped up from my seat and danced my behind off while in stilettoes the entire time along with thousands of other fans. Sure, there were fans like myself who like both artists, but it was obvious when Queen B took the stage that many were there to see her.
From the Bonnie and Clyde introduction, the couple went into Beyonce’s “Upgrade” and “Crazy In Love.” In between, both executed costume changes; Beyonce continuously changed into different body suits that flattered her bottle shaped figure, from lace to booty revealing ones, while her husband went from black, white and leather suits to his signature white T-shirt outfit.
Mosaic graphic transitions played on big screens as Jay-Z took the stage to perform hits such as “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Tom Ford.” He yelled out, “Los Angeles, it’s going to be one of those nights,” and it certainly was. It was one of those nights that made me lose my musical mind. Hit after hit from the couple, both performing separately and together, was just phenomenal.
There have been many rumors going around that the couple is experiencing martial problems and a divorce is brewing, but the concert in Los Angeles proved otherwise. When the couple performed “Drunk In Love,” Jay Z even hugged his wife on stage.
Sure the theme was for a couple to be on the run, but the songs also were used as transitions to tell an overall story. With each performance bleeding into the next, the couple dominated the stage. Jay-Z performed “Clique,” and with lines such as “Your money too short / you can’t be talking to me,” it was only appropriate for Beyonce to come out in a black hoodie to start off her hit “Diva.” Matching up with the lyrics “diva is a female version of a hustler,” a video montage of the couple counting cash flowed through the background.
It started to drizzle during the show but that didn’t encourage the crowd to take cover. Jay-Z realized later how hard the rain was falling and how faithful the crowd was that he came out to a second platform to perform “Beach Is Better.”
There were several more highlights I truly enjoyed. Beyonce sang Justin Timberlake’s lines acapella for “Holy Grail,” and the rain along with the lighting effects made the song stand out. Beyonce also did a mash-up of her hit “If I Were A Boy” with Lauryn Hill’s hit “X-Factor.” And as I predicted, Jay-Z came out and performed “Song Cry.”
One thing that hit close to home was when Beyonce sang “Resentment” in a beautiful white lace outfit. The song brought fans back to when they might have been lied to by a significant other. You could see it in her eyes on the jumbotron as she teared up and could hear it in her voice that she knows how it feels to be betrayed.
“Die in love, love forever” then appeared on the screen and Jay Z asked everyone to take out their cell phones. The crowd lit the stadium how stars light the sky as the couple performed the last three songs, “Part II (On the Run),” “Forever Young” and “Halo.” In the background, the couple used home videos of their wedding, honeymoon and even intimate videos of their daughter Blue Ivy. Beyonce was dressed in a beautiful black and white body suit and long tailed skirt, while Jay-Z was in a blazer and graphic T-shirt.
They sealed their concert with a kiss and by the time I looked at my watch to see what time it was, I realized three hours of pure music bliss had passed.
I’m still in awe that I was able to see these two live in concert and I can truly say that it was the best concert of the year for me, hands down. Sure, ticket prices are a little steep, but to me it was be worth every penny.
If you want to experience this concert, you’ll have to go to another country, as Beyonce and Jay-Z take their tour overseas with the last stop being in Paris, France. You can also wait for September when HBO will premiere their coverage of the On The Run Tour.
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.
» “’03 Bonnie & Clyde”
» “Show Me What You Got”
» “Upgrade U”
» “Crazy in Love”
» “Show Me What You Got”
» “Diamonds are Forever”
» “N***as” in Paris”
» “Tom Ford”
» “Run the World”
» “Jigga That N***a”
» “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
» “Big Pimpin’”
» “Ring the Alarm”
» “On to the Next One”
» “Baby Boy”
» “U Don’t Know”
» “No Church in the Wild”
» “Drunk in Love”
» “Public Service Announcement”
» “Why Don’t You Love Me”
» “Holy Grail”
» “Beach Is Better”
» “99 Problems”
» “If I Were a Boy” /“Ex Factor” (Lauryn Hill cover)
» “Song Cry”
» “Love on Top”
» “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”
» “I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me)”
» “Single Ladies”
» “Hard Knock Life”
» “Pretty Hurts”
» “Part II (On the Run)”
» “Forever Young”
» “Lift Off”