The 7 Wonders of Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour

Jordan Listenbee
9 Min Read

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is the epitome of Black girl magic. It’s been two weeks since her Chicago concerts and I still don’t have myself together.  As a matter of fact, I’m writing his review from the afterworld, because Bey put me in Formation, stole my soul and then took it with her to her next tour stop. RIP to me. Anyway, after some reflection, post-concert depression, and piecing my tattered and snatched edges back together, here’s what I noticed at the Formation World Tour. DISCLAIMER: This article WILL contain spoilers, so if you plan on seeing the show, you’ve been warned. Without further adieu, here are the 7 Wonders of Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour:

1. Her intro is AMAZING.

The word lit is probably one of the most overused words 2016, and probably the best word to use for the concert’s introduction. After sitting through Rae Sremmurd’s opening performance, being beaten around by a severe thunderstorm at Solider Field, and waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the Queen to address her subjects, the lights went low, Big Freedia’s voice roared through the stadium, instructing Bey to “give these hoes exactly what they came to see”. Bey stepped out on the stage, acknowledged the in-climate weather, thanked us for sticking with her, and then tore through the show’s opening like her life depended on it. That intro alone is worth standing in the rain for.

2. Them outfits though.

In the past, Bey has gained quite the reputation for her fashion choices, specifically, the leotards which have become a staple during her live performances. While her choice in wardrobing has sometimes garnered criticism, Bey’s costuming for this tour was done by an array of high end designers, including Balmain, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, and more. From her opening outfit, topped off with an oversized hat, to the cape she wore during “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, each outfit not only took on life of its own, but was tailored to accentuate Beyoncé’s signature curves, while simultaneously giving her the room needed to work the stage with her endless choreography.

Photo credit: Fashion Sizzle
Various costumes worn by Beyoncé during the Formation World Tour. Photo Credit: Fashion Sizzle.

3. Flashing Lights.

This tour’s stage production is INSANE. Being someone who likes more intimate stage venues, I was throughly impressed with how the stage design allowed for an amazing experience for everyone present. The staging, which included a large box that splits apart into two, a long runway where a good amount of the dancing took place, and a pool that replaced the front of the stage towards the end of the show, were just a few aspects of the glamour.  The pool in particular was an almost religious experience on its own, especially when Beyoncé and her dancers waded in the water during “Freedom”. When the concert wasn’t being displayed on screen, the imagery displayed varied from clips from the Lemonade film, to images of Bey with a grill in her mouth (I liveeeee), clips of fan reactions to Lemonade, (please see Evelyn from the Internets’ video if you haven’t), and a few cameos of my niece  Blue Ivy.

4. Her setlist is impeccable. 

In the period of the slayage that is the Lemonade era, it’s easy to forget that Bey has so many hits. The tour’s setlist was comprised of medleys from her Destiny’s Child days, to hits from her illustrious solo career, and a good amount of tracks from the new album, and is sure to make even the most casual Beyoncé fan dance. Her live renditions of her work are phenomenal, and the beauty in that, is knowing that beneath the glamour of the stage show, she is still an incredibly consummate vocalist. One of the night’s most emotional moments came when Beyoncé performed a stirring tribute to Prince, singing his 1984 hit, “The Beautiful Ones” from his massive hit album, Purple Rain. Bey, who first performed with the late music legend at the 2004 Grammy Awards, has performed the song several times, incorporating it in her live concerts since 2011. However, in the wake of Prince’s untimely passing, the performance was a subtle yet powerfully emotional rendition, which was perfectly accented by the rain falling down on Chicago, and a fitting tribute to the fallen star.

5. “Love God Herself.”

Any Beyoncé fan knows that she is a vehement feminist. As early as her Destiny’s Child days, Beyoncé has always let it be known that she is the H.B.I.C., and will be respected as such. Nothing demonstrates this more than her performance of her 2003 hit, “Me, Myself, & I”, Bey reminds the audience that while the love that comes from a relationship with another person is important, the most important relationship one can have is with themselves. Bey’s constant admiration of the women in the audience throughout the show left me feeling extremely empowered, and wishing she was my bestie. Another important fact to mention, is that everyone that graced that stage, her backup dancers and her backing band the Sugar Mamas alike, were all women, including a killer solo by her guitarist. In an industry dominated by men, it was a wonderful sight to see an all female band rearrange Beyoncé’s classic hits into contemporary reworks.

6. Cocoa Goddess.

Can we talk about how WOKE Beyoncé is?! She didn’t let us forget that she is a straight COCOA GODDESS, and made it clear that though she may appeal to a lot of different people, she is a sista with a capital S. There was even a point during the concert that she sits on a throne reminiscent of the cover Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton’s book Revolutionary Suicide. Bey gave us Houston, Africa, AND Jamaica all in one night, and even hit a shmoney dance one good time for Chi-Town.
Woke: Beyoncè channels her inner Huey P. Newton during the Formation World Tour.
Woke: Beyoncè channels her inner Huey P. Newton during the Formation World Tour.

 7. She is incredibly humble.

“My message though sometimes ratchet, is always about love.” – Beyoncé

When it comes to the media, Beyoncé is a woman of few words. Outside of her music, her Majesty is mostly an enigma when it comes to conducting interviews, and with songs such as “Bow Down” and “Feeling Myself”, one with little knowledge would conclude that Beyoncé is a rather arrogant woman. Throughout the show, what became increasingly apparent, is that Bey is quite contrarily, extremely humble. There was an unmistakable impression that she really wanted to be there in that moment with her fans. Though the stadium was filled to capacity, she has an uncanny and rare knack for making each audience member feel appreciated, welcome, and loved. While she was performing, I felt as if she was a family member that I was watching on stage and afterwards, I left with this strange sense of pride, in knowing that this woman that I admire so much is out here on this tour not only making sure that her Hive is having the time of our lives, but that she is as well. It was ultimately one of the best concert experiences of my life, and if she ever decides to add another Chicago concert date, I’ll be putting in a lot of overtime to make sure I have a front row seat.
Make sure you check out our staff’s review of Lemonade here, and our latest piece on the Queen herself here. Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour runs until October 2nd.
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