Sit yourself down. This is a long one.
If it’s not evident from my other social media, earlier this week I had the privilege of seeing Beyoncé live for the second time, as she came to Dublin on the Formation World tour. It was a brilliant experience – she definitely didn’t disappoint – so I thought I’d write up a quick blog post about how amazing it all was!
I travelled up on the Aircoach earlier that day, and as a result I had time to do some shopping in Dublin for the afternoon. For lunch I had a delicious mushroom and cheese toastie in the M&S Rooftop Café where I always feel so relaxed because it’s so well lit (10/10 would recommend), before doing some damage in Siopaella (as usual), Schuh and Hodges Figgis. Due to unforeseen circumstances my Dad ended up taking my other ticket (I knew he was a secret Beyoncé fan), so I met him in Dublin later that day before we drove out to Croke park.
When we reached the venue we joined the hoards of people at the entrance trying to find where they were going, got some food – a necessity of course – and found where our seats were. I did spend some time going in and out, scouting the ice cream stands and merch shops, before settling down and waiting for the show to start. I did really want to buy some of the merch, particularly the “Boycott Beyoncé” phone cases, but unfortunately they were both too expensive, and there were none to fit my phone (iPhone 5s). Otherwise I would definitely have gotten one!
Once I had found some ice creams I returned to my seat and got settled while the opening acts began. The first up was Ingrid, whose set I caught the end, which was fairly enjoyable but I didn’t recognise any songs so I didn’t get too into it. The second opening act was Chloe x Halle, whose haunting single “Drop” I am now obsessed with. If you like Beyoncé I’d absolutely recommend checking out their Youtube channel (click here) – as well as being extremely talented singers and musicians, they seem like such genuinely happy and positive, illuminating people. I’m delighted they were supporting this leg of the tour, as they’re definitely headed for big things! Unfortunately they weren’t shown on the biggest screen which meant I didn’t have a good view of them as my seats were so far away, but they were fab nonetheless and I’m definitely a fan of their music now.
After they left the stage music was played from the speakers to get the crowd going – some odd choices, but some that definitely served their purpose. They played “We Will Rock You’ – Queen, “Sorry” – Justin Bieber, “I will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston and a personal favourite “Wannabe” – The Spice Girls (which caught the attention of everyone there, although they only played the opening line – I would have liked more.) After about half an hour of this came the moment we were all waiting for. The lights lit up, the giant four sided screen on the stage began to rotate, and the familiar opening bars of “Formation” began. It wasn’t long before an army of female dancers dressed in black arrived on stage, followed closely of course, by Queen Bey herself.
There were so many amazing moments throughout the show – too many to count, and too many to right about without writing a whole mini novel! The whole opening sequence of “Formation” was incredibly impressive as Beyonce marched out to the second stage and depicted the story of her roots, while holding the 75,000 strong crowd in her palm for every second. Over the following two hours she sang and danced to 33 songs, interspersed with clips of her at different times in her life as well as family members. From the iconic line “Becky With the Good Hair” delivered with such attitude, to the accapella version of “Love on Top”, which the crowd sung every word of – key changes and all – all of the stops were pulled out for this show. The stage was also the most impressive I’ve ever seen, with fire, sparks and fireworks coming out of it during multiple songs, as well as rotating and becoming a conveyor belt at one point.
One of the most touching moments of the whole concert was when the crowd cheered for about 10 minutes straight and kept getting louder and louder, proving that Irish crowds really are some of the best. She couldn’t even speak or sing over the crowd at that point, as everyone just kept going with the screaming and she got more and more emotional, until finally being able to launch into the next song. Nearly as touching was when the whole crowd was turned into a sea of purple and sang “Purple Rain”, in memory of Prince. The one thing about that was she didn’t say anything about it, so it did seem like it was quite a random choice in the middle of the concert, but a touching gesture nonetheless.
Possibly my favourite moment of the whole show was about 3/4 of the way through when the dancers marched out to the B-Stage and the whole crowd noticed simultaneously that it was covered in water which literally seemed to come out of nowhere. I had seen the “Freedom” performance with the water in videos, but I presumed it was a one off so I was ecstatic when she launched into it here! The choreographed dance with the water was extremely impressive and I’m so happy she was able to do it here. The last song of the night was “Halo”, which was both impressive in its own right but also came with such an amazing fire and spark display out of the stage, which built up to a worthy climax at the end and left the crowd, overall, incredibly satisfied.
The incredible set list for the show was:
Run the World (Girls)
Me, Myself and I
Runnin’ (Lose It All)
Don’t Hurt Yourself
Ring the Alarm
Drunk in Love
Love On Top
The Beautiful Ones
Crazy in Love
End of Time
After the show ended we poured out of the stadium, and managed to get on the road before the majority of the crowd – an added bonus. Overall, it was a show that was completely on another level and left the audience astounded by the standard of it. The production was of such a high standard, and left the audience immensely satisfied. From Beyoncé’s stage presence and her voice, to all of the unbelievable extras, this was a show not to be missed.
And my Dad? Definitely now a member of the “Beyhive”.