Who runs the world? Girls. Who ran the Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday night? Beyonce. When the pop icon appeared onstage during her Mrs. Carter Show as divas do – suddenly, like some David Copperfield magic trick – she dazzled with a two-hour spectacle of her trademark vocals, bootylicious choreography, high-tech staging and enough wind machines to, you know, continuously give her hair some swoop. Here’s a run-down of Queen Bey’s unforgettable Detroit stop:
Beyonce didn’t just tell concertgoers how deep her love for Detroit is; she proved it. Just a few songs in, she went off script to cover Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” With images of historical landmarks and renowned personalities on the giant screen behind her, from boxer Joe Louis to megastars Madonna and Eminem and also the famous faces of Motown, this touching tribute to the spirit of the Motor City – which came just after the announcement that the city is filing for bankruptcy – was special and heartfelt. In a time when megastar tours are run like corporate machines, this was a welcome personal touch that brought Beyonce down to earth. She loves Detroit, and Detroit loves her.
In her first Detroit stop since the release of “4” two years ago, Bey opened her career-spanning set with “Run the World (Girls)” and followed with other standouts from her underrated opus: “I Care” was passionately feverish (and featured a guitar solo from one of the chicks in her all-female band); “I Miss You,” during which she performed alongside a man’s silhouette, was classic and sweet; and when “1+1” came around, she layed atop a piano to sing it. Buoyant belter “Love on Top” was performed on a satellite stage at the far end of the arena – five key changes and all. There were other fan favorites, too: “Irreplaceable” turned into a crowd sing-along, she did a bit of the Destiny’s Child anthem “Survivor,” gave a rock edge to “If I Were a Boy” (mashed with “Bittersweet Symphony”) and closed with the thrilling one-two punch of ass-shakers “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies.”
All Those Outfits
Even without the controversial gold nippled bodysuit worn during the onset of the tour, there was enough costume eye-candy every time Bey did a quick change. And naturally, she did lots of them. Enough to make me lose count. During “Freakum Dress” she sashayed in a Emilio Pucci double-slit dress, and when it came time to sweep over the crowd onto the second stage, she did it in a glittering purple catsuit (of course she did). There was a white lacey one-piece, a colorful safari getup and a black hat/jacket combo with thigh-high leather boots. After seeing her billed as a modern-day Marie Antoinette when the tour was first announced, a ravishing array of designer wear was expected. She did not disappoint.
The final video segment of the night – a tribute this time to herself (she sang for the damn president; she’s earned this) – segued into one of the most magical moments of the evening with an abridged but beautifully sung version of “I Will Always Love You.” Urging fans to sing louder so Whitney could hear, she then cut into “Halo,” where her powerhouse voice certainly reached the heavens. It was a impressive close to a show fit for a Queen.