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Last Night: Beyonce at the BankAtlantic Center

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Photo by Santiago Felipe

Beyonce

July 22, 2007

BankAtlantic Center

Better Than: Hating. You gotta love it.

The Review:

Blue-eyed soulster Robin Thicke was just finishing up his set when I walked into the BankAtlantic Center. So like any good girl on a Sunday night, I head straight to the bar for a little Jesus Juice. Unfortunately, that umpteenth toll en route to the BankAtlantic Center had left my wallet cashless so I settled for a bottled water and hopped on the escalator to my seat high in the rafters. A little irked by my sobriety and even more annoyed by the loong ride out to Sunrise, I sat back and waited for the Beyonce Experience.

First things first, I am a Beyonce fan. Not a rabid groupie, but I do love her music and I admit to being just a little excited to be at the show. Okay, okay. I was very excited. And from the time she rose from underneath the stage in an explosion of lights and glitter to the time she exited stage left two hours later, I was completely entranced. In the nosebleeds, we had to rely on the Jumbotrons but even on screen, the energy of the show was staggering.

Backed by a ten-piece all-female band, B performed like her life depended on it; fresh to death choreography, flawless vocals, crazysexy wardrobe and her trademark lioness mane all in A+ form. She ran through all of her hits, from the Destiny’s Child era to her critically acclaimed debut solo project to Dreamgirls to her latest B’Day. Beyonce gave the crowd all that they expected, and multiplied that by 1000. The creative risks that she took proved that musically Beyonce is the real deal, or at least someone on her team is. Her hit “Crazy In Love” morphed into a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” she scatted call-and-response style with her horn section, and transformed her uptempo hits into flirty, coquettish ballads.

At some points I felt like I was at a Vegas show, with all the elaborate costumes, sets, and over-the-topness of the whole thing. But that’s what made the show so much fun. Beyonce was acting, dancing, and singing her ass off. When the younger R&B/Pop chicks like Ciara and Rihanna hit the scene, people thought that Beyonce should be threatened. But after being a witness to the “Experience” that is Beyonce, I now know exactly who she was talking to when she sang “You must not know bout me…” Translation: Sit down, bitches. -- Raina McLeod

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: As I said, I am a Beyonce fan so of course I was on my feet for a good portion of the two-hour show. And yeah, when B ordered the crowd, “Say my name, say my naame!” I did get a little excited and yell “Beyonceeee!” along with all the 14 year old girls in the house. And yes, I am a little embarrassed.

Random Detail: B’s dancers did a supersexy rendition of Chicago’s Cell Block Tango that had tongues wagging

By The Way: Beyonce’s better half, Jay-Z was in the building but didn’t join his girl on stage. Much love for Jiggaman, but he was not missed.

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