Review: Is Beyoncé worth $555.30? At her Renaissance tour, I survived to find out.

Beyoncé performs PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA, VIRGOS GROOVE, MOVE, and HEATED in her Renaissance tour staple outfit, a designer Loewe embellished mesh nude bodysuit with black hands that cling around her curves, at Levis Stadium on Aug. 30.
Beyoncé performs “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA,” “VIRGO’S GROOVE,” “MOVE,” and “HEATED” in her Renaissance tour staple outfit, a designer Loewe embellished mesh nude bodysuit with black hands that cling around her curves, at Levi’s Stadium on Aug. 30.
Jiselle Cardenas/The Collegian

Stadiums full of thousands of people all over the world have erupted in an internet competition to be the best audience to go completely silent during Beyoncé’s “ENERGY” for her Renaissance World Tour.

“Look around everybody on mute,” she says as crowds are depicted in videos as people try to go completely silent for more than five seconds without everyone screaming with excitement for the next lyric, “Big energy!”

For months I anticipated seeing Beyoncé live, and after the competition began during her European tour dates, my eagerness brewed even more.

From stunning visuals, multiple outfit changes, amazing choreography and immaculate singing, the Beyoncé concert was an experience that I would boil down to one word: groovy.

On the night of the blue supermoon, I attended Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour with my best friend Jordan at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Aug. 30, paying $555.30 for a seat on floor 5, row 15, seat 11.

In no way would I consider myself as Beyhive, the name for Beyoncé’s fanbase, before this concert. I’m just a casual Beyoncé listener who knew some of her older music and fell in love with the new “Renaissance” album when it came out in July 2022.

The album was a breath of fresh air for Beyoncé’s discography to me and it was her newest project in six years since her last Grammy-award-winning studio album, “Lemonade,” was released in 2016.

The New York Times described the album as a blend of “Chicago house, hyperpop, classic ‘70s disco,” and I would add that it also has R&B/soul elements. Beyoncé’s treasured, well-renowned high-notes only make their appearance sporadically throughout the album, but when they do, she galvanizes listeners, reminding them she’s still got it while simultaneously making them dance.

The concert in itself almost seemed like a gala. The theme of the concert and album is what I would describe as a combination of disco cowgirl and chrome robots.

Prior to my concert date, on Aug. 23, Beyoncé announced on her Instagram story and website that for the last leg of the tour, her birthday wish is a request for fans to wear silver and chrome themed outfits, emphasizing that Virgo season was approaching along with her birthday, which is on Sept 4.

We were staying 20 minutes away from the stadium and got stuck in traffic for about an hour before Jordan and I decided to get out of our Lyft and walk 30 more minutes to the show, because we did not want to risk missing the beginning of it.

People decorated in silver, chrome, sparkles, sequins, handmade outfits, extravagant clothing articles and bedazzled hats scattered the sidewalks walking toward the stadium.

Upon arriving, thousands of people were dressed to impress. The crowd was diverse and felt like a safe space made up of a majority of women, along with men, gays and people of all ages and races.

Beyoncé had no performer open for her concert – she was the sole performer.

Unlike other artists, Beyoncé circumvented the common practice of an opener by beginning her concert promptly at 9 p.m. after the sunset, captivating the audience with her visuals that began on a sky background with mechanical arms pulling up Beyoncé’s name on screen and a photo of her on her side.

She emerged from the floor in a short sparkly black dress, bedazzled black Swarovski crystal Marc Jacobs Kikiboots and a red hair scarf. She began by singing some of her older love ballads like “Dangerously in Love” and “Flaws and All.”

The crowd roared with excitement and joy when she came out, and from my seat I could feel the bass of the speakers vibrate through my chest. It was surreal.

Beyoncé transitions into her final act “Mind Control” by displaying a quote from Jim Morrison before singing “AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM.” (Jiselle Cardenas/The Collegian)

I’ve been to other concerts before, but never to a stadium tour or to see artists with such an intricate design. The coordinated backup dancers, elaborate visuals, a dress code, a solo main act and large, extravagant props all added to the effect.

Not only was she even more stunningly beautiful in person, but her voice sounded exactly like, if not better than, the original records.

Shortly after opening, I almost fainted due to my overwhelming excitement, the warmth of bodies all around and my frank dehydration. I had to speak with medics before I could return to my seat after seeking help from security guards in search of water, cutting it close to almost fainting on top of the security guards when asking for help.

“Nooo! I can’t die during the Beyoncé concert,” I thought to myself as I was struggling to remain conscious.

Mortified, but desperate to return to the concert as soon as I could, I was able to recover by drinking water and being fanned with my silver glitter cowgirl hat by a nice security guard lady whom I befriended during the process, sitting at the foot of the stairs that connected to the floor.

I picked up right where I left off when I returned to my seat to have the time of my life with my best friend. However, I did learn a lesson for future reference: stay hydrated and don’t wear heeled boots.

Beyoncé went through seven acts, seven outfit changes and different transitions each time consisting of visuals, dancer solos, instrumental solos from her eight member band and fan cams.

After her opening act, she began with the Renaissance album, performing the songs in order while blending some of her older fan favorites into or in between the newer songs, like “Sweet Dreams,” “Partition,” “Crazy in Love” and even letting the crowd sing “Love on Top” a cappella for a few minutes. She also sang some covers from iconic artists like Rose Royce, The Jackson 5 and Tina Turner.

For the third act, when Beyoncé sang “ENERGY,” the vibrancy and ambiance of the crowd began to peak. The audience was able to stay silent for almost five seconds before she moved into her next act that left everyone even more hyped.

Formation,” “Diva” and “Run the World (Girls)” were all sung before Beyoncé stunned the crowd with a guest dance performance from her 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy during “My Power.”

Blue Ivy is always an unexpected yet pleasant surprise to fans, especially after making her debut with her mother in May for her sixth concert date in Paris.

No one ever knows when she’s going to perform, so I was ecstatic to see her meek yet fierce dance beside her mother in a coordinated blingy, orange jersey outfit.

To top things off, Beyoncé followed that by riding out on a giant metallic, hydraulic tank truck to sing the “Savage Remix.”

The exotic props didn’t stop there; Beyoncé was seen awakening out of a giant, sparkly chrome clam when it was time to sing “PLASTIC OFF THE SOFA,” a slower love song, in which she was dressed in her tour staple: A Loewe embellished mesh nude bodysuit with black hands that cling around her curves.

Her final act, titled “Mind Control,” took an artistic approach on media, displaying a troubleshoot TV screen that flashed the words, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind” with multiple mini TV screens.

When the lights turned on, there was a makeshift news set with a large “On Air” sign paired with the big screen set up to look like a news channel as Beyoncé sang my favorite song off the album, “AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM.”

The Les Twins, two twin brother backup dancers, were dancing and swinging off two “On Air” sign poles above the crowd on the floor section.

Beyoncé was wearing a custom Mugler garment: an extravagant gold, black and silver diamond decorated outfit to look like the “Queen Bey” she is. The dancers were dressed in black and yellow to look like bumblebees.

Vogueing, a type of dance to music in such a way as to imitate the characteristic poses struck by a model on a catwalk, played a large inspiration in the house-themed album and callback to Ballroom culture, specifically the second-to-last song “PURE/HONEY.”

The vogue-centric song was the perfect transition for the dancers to begin freestyle voguing and bring out Honey Balenciaga, a Ballroom dancer who went viral for her passionate moves after debuting at Beyoncé’s Sweden’s concert.

“Reneigh,” Beyoncé’s mirrorball chrome horse, sits on the stage after Beyonce concluded her concert at Levi’s Stadium on Aug. 30. (Jiselle Cardenas/The Collegian)

For the final number, Beyoncé was raised from the floor sitting on a lifesize fake disco mirrorball horse that fans have named Reneigh. It suspended her in the air as she sang her last song “SUMMER RENAISSANCE” to fans while hovering over them throughout the venue.

Beyoncé’s all chrome, glittery cape, boots and bodysuit shimmered from all the lights as she was hooked up to levitate over the crowd one last time without the horse before thanking the crowd and concluding the concert.

After paying a huge amount of money and fighting to overcome my dehydration, I think that Beyoncé delivered not only a performance but an experience I will never forget. It was completely worth every penny for me.

I more than survived the Beyoncé Renaissance World Tour. Now I’m part of the Beyhive.

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