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bey run the world
Beyoncé reigns supreme with Megan Thee Stallion cameo in jaw-dropping Houston Renaissance Tour opening night
How much does Beyoncé love Houston? Enough to turn the first of her two-night H-Town concert tour stop into an all-out and unforgettable celebration of her fans, friends, and her beloved hometown.
Late Saturday September 24 at NRG Stadium, Queen Bey proved once again that she rules all in a night boasting a Megan Thee Stallion cameo, fellow native Houstonians Lizzo and original, founding Destiny’s Child members in the crowd, and a three-hour, jaw-dropping, sometimes breathtaking journey.
Houston’s love for their queen was so palpable on Saturday, September 24 at NRG Stadium that even the usually grouchy traffic cops became hype men. “I can’t hear you: who’s ready to see Beyoncé!?” bellowed a middle-aged traffic Metro officer.
The crowd entering NRG formed a sea of sparkling sequins, silver cowboy hats, and silver boots, per Beyoncé’s request for silver or shiny looks for her worldwide Renaissance Tour stops. It was as much a fashion show as a concert: sequin dresses, denim skirts, mesh tanks, fringe masks, bootie-revealing shirts, and high heels on Beyhive members of every gender and age. Beyoncé didn’t need an opening act: the spontaneous singalongs made for the perfect pre-party.
After a giddy wait, Beyoncé rose from under the stage, positively resplendent in a black polka-dot dress, pearls, and white gloves as wind blew through her blonde locks. Opening with the dramatic “Dangerously in Love 2” from the album that launched her career, she held long, drawn-out notes as the band went silent, reminding all that she’s more than an icon, she’s a supremely talented vocalist.
“H-Town, it's goin’ down...”
Flashing her million-dollar grin, the queen decreed, “Oh tonight, H-Town, it's goin’ down,” for the homecoming. “Thank you for your love and loyalty. This is my gratitude tour. I’m so grateful to be on this stage, back home in Houston, Texas.”
“I can travel to any country around the world, but you ain’t ever gonna take the country out of this girl. I represent y’all everywhere I go, and I wanna make you proud.”
She breathlessly went through “1+1” while kicking up a leg and sitting atop a piano. She rose and strutted across the long catwalk into the packed floor for “I Care,” and channeled Tina Turner in “River Deep - Mountain High,” which she dedicated to Turner, her “idol.”
A dazzling video interlude took viewers into a Sci-Fi journey of chrome mazes and robots riding rockets. When “RENAISSANCE” popped on the scream, the crowd shrieked as Beyoncé remerged, standing with her fist up in a shimmering silver catsuit, sunglasses, and tall boots, going into “I’m That Girl,” “Cozy” and the spacey “Alien Superstar” from the Renaissance album.
This wasn’t a typical show where fans sang back to classics and stayed silent during new material: fans sang back every lyric to every song, regardless of era. No surprise that NRG rocked when she broke in “Crazy in Love,” her 2003 hook-filled announcement to the world with (now) husband Jay-Z, and the ultimate girl powered “Run the World (Girls).”
It should cost a billion for these fits
And the costumes, oh, the costumes. In each sonic journey, Beyoncé emerged in radiant shine, camouflage, and even a flame-adorned cowboy hat. Nowhere is her “PURE/HONEY” lyric, “It should cost a billion to look this good,” more fitting than with these show-stopping fits.
Our Behyive was also treated to a “Thique,” “All Up In Your Mind,” and “Drunk in Love,” — fans and critics have tracked that Beyoncé has only performed those three songs four times on this tour.
Like a Method actress working through various roles, Beyoncé channeled a forlorn lover, a fierce empress (especially in “Break My Soul”), a sexy siren, an android goddess — she emerged from a robotic costume “case” that mechanically opened for her — and even a towering, metallic queen bee (see what she did there) TV anchor in “America Has A Problem.”
When she bellowed “I told you I’m a f*cking problem,” in “All Up in Your Mind,” she evoked screams of affirmation. When the gifted singer screamed into the mic — a throat killer for vocalists on tour — and went back into her flawless tones and surging, almost operatic vibrato, Beyoncé reminded that she’s a multi-faceted, complex, self-actualized woman and not just a mere brand.
Megan Thee Stallion and Blue Ivy, y'all
And she’s a proud mother who couldn’t hold back her glee when her daughter Blue Ivy came onstage, seeming almost shocked by the crowd roar. Blue Ivy flashed a heart-hands symbol and popped into dance moves as her mom cheered her on.
The proud mom also cheered on a fellow Houston native and pop superstar Megan Thee Stallion, who bounced onstage for a savage cameo in “Savage Remix.” Spitting rhymes, strutting, and flexing her signature dance moves, Megan waved to fans and paid homage to the queen, squealing “I love you, Beyoncé!” and spinning on the catwalk.
Breathtaking sounds and sights
Rarely has three hours passed so quickly, thanks to bumping video and music interludes, which turned NRG into a club. Cinematic imagery rivaled any movie, and the band’s solo chops — especially on guitar, bass, and drum — made for its own show. Her backup singers alone, who dropped a song in a break, could also be their own act
Dance has always been an integral part of a Beyoncé performance, led by Beyoncé herself, who’s as limber as a gymnast, and her awe-inspiring dancers like Les Twins — who mixed dance with Cirque du Soleil acrobatics — and the vamping, voguing diva Honey Balenciaga.
Owning the stage with the swagger of a champion, Beyoncé displayed the theatricality and edginess of Lady GaGa, the irresistible charm of Taylor Swift, and the ageless physical prowess of Jennifer Lopez. It’s mind-boggling that at 42, Beyoncé looks, moves, and sounds nearly half her age — but with grown-woman mastery.
All hail Queen Bey
In a blink, it was 12:30 am, and the the queen mounted the silvery disco horse — fans call it Reneigh — and soared over the crowd for “Summer Renaissance.”
“No matter where I go, I always keep Houston with me,” she told the screaming, weeping crowd,” like a fairy godmother floating away. “I will always rep for Houston.”
With one NRG Stadium show left on Sunday, September 24, fans from around the country have scored tickets. “I just knew Houston would be different,” a fan told us afterwards, who flew in from Washington, D.C. “I just knew it would be special.”
What better proof that pop’s reigning and undisputed queen will always rep for Houston.