On the one-year anniversary of Renaissance, Beyoncé brought the album’s lyrics to life — especially “category: bad bitch, I’m thе bar” — with a stunning performance proving why she’s one of one, number one and the only one. Don’t even waste your time trying to compete with her.
The icon was energetic and vibrant during her three-hour show Saturday night, running through Renaissance favorites like “Alien Superstar” and “Cuff It,” as well as past hits and album cuts, like “My Power,” where Blue Ivy earned a rousing applause as she joined her mother to perform extended choreography.
Beyoncé said as she entered her dressing room at MetLife Stadium, a photo of her sister Solange as a baby and her late uncle Johnny — who she dedicated Renaissance to and references on “Heated” — were on display. “And I just thank God for this night and this experience and my Uncle Johnny, and I thank God for all of you guys,” she said.
Beyoncé released her critically acclaimed album, a love letter to house music and the Black and gay pioneers of the genre, on July 29, 2022. It won four Grammys and helped the star become the most decorated artist in the history of the awards show.
The audience in East Rutherford, New Jersey — the Renaissance World Tour’s closest stop to New York City — worked overtime to show support for the singer. They beautifully joined in to finish singing “Love on Top” as Beyoncé watched in awe. When the singer sang “look around, everybody on mute” from “Energy,” they paused in unison, and during “Heated,” they rapped the fiery 34-bar with as much passion as Beyoncé.
“Do y’all know the words to ‘Heated’? We do this one together,” she said. “Are y’all with me?”
They were. And their wardrobe spoke loudly too — from bright silver cowboy hats to metallic ensembles to fringed jackets. “I’m getting into these outfits! OK. Y’all look so beautiful,” Beyoncé said. “Can I get a little bit closer to you guys?” She also dedicated “Pure/Honey” to “the famous, the world famous, Beehive.”
Beyoncé worked the intricate stage like a pro as she performed hits like “Break My Soul,” “Formation,” “Diva,” “Run the World (Girls),” “Savage” and “Crazy in Love.” Blue Ivy and Beyoncé worked as a dynamic duo, wearing matching outfits and performing slick choreography during “My Power,” even giving each other a cute fistbump. But Blue Ivy wasn’t done yet — she led the procession of dancers down the aisle as Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” blasted in the background and then owned the stage with more dancing to “Black Parade” while Beyoncé sang lyrics like “I can’t forget my history is her story” from the other side of the stage.
The audience gave the 11-year-old a standing ovation, and she paused and took in the moment, also making a heart symbol with her hands and then honoring her father Jay-Z with his signature Roc hand symbol.
After performing the Black Pride anthem, Beyoncé stood still with her fist in the air and then showed love to her daughter. “Give it up for Blue Ivy Carter,” she said.
There were other shout-outs: Beyoncé mentioned her mother Tina Knowles during the show and honored Tina Turner with a performance of “River Deep – Mountain High.”
Other highlights included Beyoncé performing on top of a glittery horse that glided in the air and an epic ballroom dance break that left the audience gagging. Beyoncé returned to the stage with words of compassion to attendees: “I hope you feel seen. I hope you feel joy in your spirit … I hope you feel safe.”
Beyoncé kicked off the show with slow grooves from past albums, including “Dangerously In Love,” “1+1” — infusing some of Rose Royce’s “I’m Going Down” — “I Care” and “Flaws and All,” where she pointed at her arms, waist and chin as she sang about imperfections.
“I want to say thank you so much for supporting and riding with me for over 25 years,” she told concertgoers. “It’s not a day that I don’t get on this stage and feel so much gratitude. I am so thankful. I’m so, so, so thankful to still be able to do what I love. It’s because of you and all of your loyalty.”