In the SF Bay Area, Beyoncé Brings Out Blue Ivy Carter — Under a Blue Moon

Days removed from attending Beyoncé’s SF Bay Area stop on her Renaissance World Tour, the profoundness, pyrotechnics, and sheer talent displayed remains in our mind — “deadass.”

Beyoncé, as a concept, is hard to wrap one’s brain around… let alone Beyoncé as a human being. (The mere fact that the 29-time Grammy-winner belongs to the same species as the world’s other 7.9 billion bipedal apes is an enigma enveloped within a riddle.)

But Mrs. Carter — or “Mayor Carter,” as she would later say in the first act of her nearly three-hour spectacle at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium on August 30th, nodding to her honorary mayor distinction of the SF Bay Area county that was bestowed upon her that same day — walks and breathes among us. Nevertheless, sharing the same space as her, no matter how teeny she may look from afar, is an act of holy assurance for her fans.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter does, indeed, exist in tandem with all of us. For an estimated 50,000-plus Bay Area concert attendees, it was an emotional reality on full, glorious, magnetic display this week when her critically acclaimed Renaissance World Tour finally came to California… holding its first of four shows in the state in NorCal.

Flashes of the waning sun that bounced off sequins and mirrorballs began speckling the South Bay stadium hours before Beyoncé took the stage. When she did grace us mortals with her presence, drenched in custom Marc Jacobs, the record-breaking songstress stood taller than usual — perched on what was her boldest, tallest, and ostensibly most “cunty” shoewear yet. (The Saint Laurent cherry leather ankle boots featured a five-inch lee and nearly two-inch platform.) 

From the moment those shoes beat the stage, to when she was hoisted in the air atop a disco-themed stallion, it was apparent Beyoncé is not only the performer of a generation, but ostensibly one of our best vocalists alive. And the “Drunk In Love” singer — who, unfairly, did not treat attendees of Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium with the standout track on her 2013 self-titled album — only appears to get better with age.

Beyoncé wearing in-ear monitors, collectively encrusted with 4.5 carats of diamonds, held the sold-out stadium consensually captive over the next two-and-a-half hours. 

(Though the show was slated to begin at 8 p.m., which was already pushed back an hour from its original set time, the record-breaking, multi-hyphenated talent didn’t put those forenamed boots on the stage until 9 p.m. — causing her to play well surpass the 11 p.m. curfew imposed by the County of Santa Clara. However… she was the official mayor of the 1.9-million-person metropolis during this time; perhaps there was some mayoral leniency here.)

The show, itself was an homage to queer ball culture, specifically in regard to the Black creators who exist, or existed, as pillars within that space. It’s an ode to this foundational LGBTQIA+ subculture which peaks in “PURE/HONEY,” when Kevin Aviance’s “Cunty” is sampled on loop. 

The stage, too, was the most visually dazzling and expansive in recent memory — far exceeding Taylor Swift’s laudable backdrops and foregrounds featured in her Eras Tour.

Giant robotic arms, quite literally, fanned off Beyonce during “HEATED,” a performance that was fittingly punctuated by pyrotechnics; the show’s omnipresent supergalactic theme climaxed during “ALIEN SUPERSTAR”; Queen Bee embraced her place in pop-royalty — a position she managed to further elevate in recent years, now residing in an esoteric space devoted only for the likes of icons like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston — in “I’M THAT GIRL” and “Diva,” two tracks that live as antidotes to anyone’s lack of self-assurance.

The August 30th evening furthermore witnessed a truly, awe-inspiring convergence of happenstance coincidence: 11-year-old Blue Ivy Carter performed next to her mother, underneath a luminous, sumptuous Blue Moon. When one takes into consideration that Blue Ivy Carter has only performed at a select number of shows during “My Power” and that a Blue Moon occurs about once every decade, it’s easy to believe that a universal Higher Power is also a Beyhive constituent.

(I still can’t get my little gay brain around the fact that Beyoncé managed to hold an accurate, jaw-dropping ballroom dance-off on a major, worldwide tour — one that’s already grossed north of $460 million. With still eleven shows left.)

The evening began to settle. The still-glowing moon is now near the middle of the sky. Beyoncé hovered over the Club Renssiance standing area as silver metallic confetti shrouded the air around her. Voices were rendered hoarse; spirits were lifted; tears were shed, both cathartically and in adoration; no one alive today can command a venue as captivating as Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter.

“I hope you feel loved,” she says in closing, “and I hope you feel safe,” two desires Beyoncé has frequently wished toward the end of each show on this tour. 

And as I started my journey back to San Francisco, a trek made safe, affordable, and restful thanks to extended Caltrain and VTA operating hours, I couldn’t help but feel those exact pontifications Beyoncé had wishfully enspelled onto tens of thousands of fans earlier that night.

If the Renaissance World Tour is any indication of the quality we can expect from the yet-released visual rendition of the album, I have no doubt that it will be another intergalactic queer voyage worth doning silver regalia. Even if it’s just sitting pretty inside one’s domicile.

Feature image: Courtesy of Instagram via [at]beyonce

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