The holy matrimonial “On The Run” tour of Jay Z and Beyoncé came to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Friday night (July 11), which is as close to home as Papa Carter will get to his Brooklyn. Of course, most of the crowd hailed from his home city had migrated across the Hudson to see the spectacular.
No doubt there were men attending this show, but the train from Penn Station to the Meadowlands complex I rode was packed with women, mostly aged 21-35, in cotton dresses or rompers carrying clutches. Their conversations with each other were peppered with lyrics — references to Yonce and citations from “***Flawless” among the most popular. It may be Jay Z’s home, but it was about to be Beyoncé’s night.
As the show began, it became clear: A Bey & Jay show is exactly the theatrical event you’d expect. It takes the minimalist design of Watch the Throne (and Jay’s following Magna Carta tour) and splices it with sensory overload of Beyoncé’s 2013 live events, including using her signature short films between songs to keep things moving between costume and set changes. The setlist is also a Girl Talk inspired affair, with snippets of Jay and Bey hits circling around each other. It’s also of the variety show tradition — no songs were played in full, but a few choruses and a verse would be trotted out before morphing into a new song. There were a few B-sides, but mostly hit after hit after hit.
Rumors have swirled since the tour’s launch in Miami that the duo may be headed for divorce when Beyoncé changed the lyrics of her song “Resentment,” (widely considered to be a song about infidelity) to reflect the number of years she has been with her husband. Beyoncé’s performance of the same song at the Philadelphia show on July 5 closed with a video in which her voice over told the audience, “Love is an act of endless forgiveness.”