Feminism. Love. Family.
The first stop on the OTRII tour was in Cardiff, Wales in the UK, and it seemed that the angle for this concert was all about feminism, love, and the strength of family.
The words “OTR” were displayed on stage as fans circled around one another, anticipating the concert of the year. Of course, everyone thought that the concert would mostly be presented with Beyonce mostly on stage, throwing her hips in motion while singing us words of encouragement of forgetting our husbands, and feeling the love of women empowerment. We thought that Jay-Z would make a couple of appearances; show his support for his Queen, and that we would rap the words with him from his hot album, 4:44.
We were all dead wrong.
The words on the screen were then blacked out, as another set of words were displayed on the screen.
“This is Real Life”.
And everyone knew that they were about to experience something that was out of this world.
Jay-Z and Beyonce stepped out on stage to a crowd of screaming fans, hand-in-hand. Beyonce, of course, glistened while rocking a sparkly leotard and face mask to match, while Jay coordinated with his all white suit and medallion necklace. They opened the night with “Holy Grail” together, as a united front. They veiled as the loving couple we’ve envied since 2005, and we couldn’t get enough of them smiling and performing in front of one another. If it was if, for those fifteen minutes, the audience wasn’t there, and it was just the two of them.
The show flowed on beginning with Jay-Z and Beyonce singing the songs about it just being the two of them-”On the Run II” with the visuals of them in the background running, catching money, Beyonce performing for her husband, and them being against the world. They showed why they were our version of Bonnie & Clyde.
Then a shift happened, and it was exactly what a lot of us have anticipated since the drop of Lemonade.
Beyonce transformed into the high female power that we love her for, as she belted out to “Irreplaceable” and reminded everyone (including her husband) why she was not the DIVA to be messed over with.
But then Jay-Z came out and spoke his truth with, “On to the Next One”, while wearing a black panther jacket, and we were shown a side to him that hadn’t considered before.
For that hour, Beyonce claimed the stage with her “ain’t worried about him” attitude with her and her flawless dancers as they dropped, locked, and whipped their hair to “Sorry”, “Hold Up” and “Ring the Alarm”. We were given that angry woman version of her that was ready to let go of her hurt and pain, and she delivered it all effortlessly on stage while wearing stunning leotards.
The final straw was her KILLING IT while performing to “Formation” and “Run the World (Girls) as the words, “Feminist” were plastered on the screen behind her. At the end of the day, she reminded us that this year is all about woman.
Jay-Z then expressed his truth with his hit songs, “99 Problems” and and “4:44”, but the best performance was his final song. The scene was just him standing in front of the crowd rapping the words to, “The Story of O.J.” with a powerful cartoon message of the life of black man playing on the screen. He reminded everyone that when you strip him all the material possessions, he was just another black man living in America.
At the end of the concert, the couple reunited again on stage, and showed clips of their trips with their family in the background. It showed Blue Ivy happily smiling along with her parents, as well as the twins looking bouncy and healthy as ever. And then, with the final seal, we all cried over the video of the couple renewing their vows at the beach.
The OTRII concert put everything in full circle for the audience. It showed the beauty of the beginning of their marriage, and then trying to claw and find themselves after their marital problems and public issues. Beyonce finding her voice, and Jay-Z revealing his truth. At the end, they reminded themselves and us that their love is true, and they are in it for the long run.
At the end of the concert, the words, “This is Real Love” stared at the audience as the King & Queen stood there smiling, while holding hands.