I’d like to give an in depth analysis of one of the best concerts I’ve been to. This show was a joint performance between a husband and wife: Jay-Z and Beyoncé here in Atlanta at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. On The Run (OTR) II was a display of black excellence from all aspects: musicianship, performance, and technology. There are several aspects of the show that I could analyze but I’ll be discussing Beyoncé’s performance, Jay-Z’s performance, the background dancers’ and musicians’ performance, and finally the visuals throughout the show.
As we all know, Beyoncé is a sight for sore eyes and one of the greatest performers of our generation. Her performance was sensational. Her stage presence alone made the entire stadium rise to their feet and scream to the top of their lungs. Beyoncé has amazing voice control and her range is unending. She sang for over two hour all while dancing. Her dancing is not the most intricate, but nevertheless still impressive being that she was singing as well. Beyoncé’s performance was so superb because she acts out the words of her songs through her tone, body language, and facial expressions. Beyoncé does a great job at bringing the emotions and sentiments in her lyrics to real life. Although we know she performed the same songs almost every night for months on end, each song felt like she was singing it for the very first time. Finally, Beyoncé’s costumes were extremely intricate and detailed from lace to pearls to fringe to beading; every look was simply a work of art. It was clear that every aspect of the show was aimed to make sure that the audience couldn’t take their eyes off of her the entire time.
Next, I’d like to discuss the performance that Jay-Z gave. I personally enjoyed Jay-Z more than Beyoncé simply because his energy was contagious. Jay-Z has more high-energy songs than Beyoncé, which made the audience jump and rap with him. Jay-Z made more eye contact with his fans; he seemed to engage with the audience more intimately than Beyoncé. His costumes were also very nice and detailed; he looked very handsome on stage. Also, I appreciated Jay-z for tapping into his emotional side, which he rarely does during his performances. During “Family Feud” he actually rapped to Beyonce the apologies and sentiments he expressed in the song. Even if he didn’t mean the words he was saying, he made it seem very believable and heartfelt.
One of the most exciting aspects of the show was the performance of the background dancers. Their costumes were amazing and they had high energy throughout the entire show. The dance moves were very intricate and their crowd involvement was great. At some point throughout the show they acted as hype men and got the crowd on their feet. The song that I enjoyed their dancing to the most was “Apesh*t.” It is a high energy and upbeat song, yet the dance moves were still intricate. They were very impressive. The musicians and the band were equally as amazing. They were high energy and played very well. Even though concerts are naturally extremely loud, I could still make out specific instruments and the dynamics. The band even had their own dance moves that they performed quite nicely.
Finally I’d like to discuss the visuals shown throughout the show. There were huge HD screens in the back of the stage that played visuals throughout the show. These visuals included videos of Beyoncé and Jay-Z with their kids, unreleased music videos, and much more. The quality of the visuals was very high and the content was unique and creative. There were about three screens, and not every screen played the same visual at the same time so at some point there were a lot of things going on but it all worked together aesthetically. In addition to the HD screens, there was confetti and shooting fire frequently throughout the show. This just added an element of surprise and excitement for the audience.
Overall, I was extremely impressed entertained by OTR II. This show excelled in all aspects and all of the performers made it look easy, despite the hours and hours of practicing I know went into the show. I don’t have any critiques of what could have been done better. This was a high energy, exhilarating performance and if you didn’t attend, you missed out!
I have attended both Beyoncé and Jay-Z concerts separately but this show was a completely different dynamic. The couple fed off of each other’s energy throughout the show. All of their combined songs were performed together rather than separately at their separate shows, which I thoroughly enjoyed because I had never experienced that before. OTR II was definitely one of the best concerts I have ever attended.