Monday, June 13, 2016

Get In Formation: A Night with Queen Bey

Hello, friends. I'm back. It's been over four months, but I'm here. I've graduated, it's summer, and the living is good. Let's do this. I can't think of a better return to this blog than a post about my recent brush with royalty. 

This past Friday, I stood in the presence of the Queen herself. 

Photo Credit. 

I'm talking Queen Bey, y'all. 

Though it felt like an eternity since my sister and I purchased tickets to Beyonce's The Formation World Tour, the day finally arrived BeyoncDay in Baltimore. 

Several of my friends were also going to the concert so we decided to all caravan and have dinner beforehand. To avoid traffic, we took the trusty ol' Amtrak, which we dubbed the YONCE EXPRESS. We envisioned it would be an empowering train ride with good beats and lots of swag, much like the Queen herself. 

Well, it wasn't. 

While I love the train, train people are not always the friendliest people. And, before you get mad at me for making such generalizations, just take a moment to reflect on that and realize that I'm right. 

Trains have too many rules  unspoken and spoken (but not loudly, in case you're in the quiet car). And this is coming from a lover of rules! 

You can't save seats. People don't like it when you talk. They don't take kindly to loud laughing. No one wants to hear you sing Beyonce's Drunk in Love while they are commuting out of the city. People look perturbed when you announce that you have an extra Starbucks iced tea, if anyone wants it. Yonce Express? More like Yon-say-nothing Express, am I right? 
Of course we had a cab with animal print seats. Of course.

Even though it wasn't the party train we'd imagined  one where everyone would spontaneously start doing the Single Ladies dance in the aisle and share hugs and high fives in the spirit of the BeyHive  it was still an excellent transportation choice (and a surprisingly beautiful ride). We arrived in Baltimore with plenty of time to drink and dine before making our way to the stadium. 

Well, some of us did. 

My poor sister missed the train due to work and traffic and life. She had to catch a later train and arrived in Baltimore just in time for her cell phone to die. Then she couldn't find a cab or Uber. I only knew this because her husband texted me that she was en route after she called him from the lobby of a Hyatt. 

The rest of us spent about three hours at Regi's American Bistro, which serves avocado flatbread, cheesy tater tots, and white wine. I believe they serve other items as well but, what more do you need? 
The Bey Hive swarms in anticipation.

The concert was everything we dreamed it would be and more. It's true that I go to a lot of concerts, but they typically aren't stadium tours. Rarely do I experience moving sets, complicated light displays, pyrotechnics, and aerial acrobats. 

My sister and I sat in the 500-level but had a surprisingly good view, at least of the jumbo screens. I also could make out a tiny, dancing, beautiful figure on the stage that I assume was Beyonce. The incredible visuals of Lemonade came to life during the show, and we were also treated to nostalgic Beyonce jams of yesteryear: Survivor, Crazy in Love, and Who Runs the World (Girls), to name a few. 

The crowd was amazing and loud. Our 500-level seats started shaking due to the cheering and dancing. I seemed to be the only one concerned about this phenomenon.

This marked my second time seeing Beyonce in concert, since I got to go a couple years ago to the On The Run Tour with Jay-Z. (Grammatical clarification: The tour included Jay-Z. I did not go with Jay-Z.) No offense to Jay-Z, but I think this year's concert was better. Beyonce was fierce and in her element. She was, to put it in her own words, flawless.

Beyonce on the screen and probably on the stage.
Aside from her voice and sweet dance moves, it's a little hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about Beyonce that makes her Queen Bey. I think we hit on it a bit the next day when my sister asked the brilliant question: "Why do we wear pants?" 

You see, none of Beyonce's costumes included pants. And when Beyonce does something, it makes you stop and think. Should we all just wear metallic, interchangeable leotards? Have we been doing clothes wrong? That's the power of Beyonce she inspires you to believe you have the confidence to do things like not wear pants.

And while I'm not going to take her lead on pantswear (or a lack thereof), I'm definitely going to try to channel her fierce, confident attitude more often. Thanks, Bey. Watch out, world.

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