I was with Duana this weekend in Vegas – it was her first time. So we put her through a Vegas rite of passage: waiting in line, a long line, at the Wynn buffet. We spent part of it trying to watch the Beyoncé show on our phones, desperately scrolling Twitter and watching any clip we could find.
The Queen was performing in Dubai at the new Atlantis the Royal resort – her first live show in over four years. This was an invite-only event. The resort flew in select celebrities, media, and influencers for the opportunity, no tickets were being sold. And still Beyoncé was reportedly paid $24 million for the exclusive. On top of whatever expenses were put in for the staging and the displays. Even from the low quality videos that are still online (the Beygency has been quick to remove clips so I’m not sure how long these will stay up) you can tell that the venue itself was a spectacle.
According to Variety, “Beyoncé performed with the all-female Firdaus Orchestra, comprising women of 24 nationalities. The orchestra is mentored by Oscar winner A.R. Rahman” and the Mayyas were there with her too:
Beyoncé performed for just about an hour. And none of it was new material. Nothing from Renaissance, so another part of the social media activity about her performance was the comedy in the tweets:
Does it matter if the set list was from the back catalogue? Of course not. Beyoncé is never going to half-ass it. She’ll always serve a new angle, the vocal runs, the production value, the choreography and precision – there is a reason she’s the greatest entertainer of our time, and she has set such high performance standards for herself, we all know by now is that if she decides to be on stage, she will elevate beyond the bar that she has established.
Back to the reaction though, one of the biggest moments of the show was the appearance of the Blue Ivy Carter who joined her mother on “Brown Skin Girl” and jumped in on the choreo. This was my favourite tweet:
BeyoncÃ© told Blue Ivy â€œNot too muchâ€ .. We need another $24million for your choreography ðŸ˜Ž pic.twitter.com/eYyUoqsinP— Katherine Harris (@IamKatHarris) January 22, 2023
Blue is now eleven years old, and more and more like her ma, and generating the same level of hype as her ma. When Blue shows up, the Hive loses its sh-t. And, trust me, Beyoncé knows the value.
BeyoncÃ© at 11: Blue Ivy at 11: pic.twitter.com/TbPZVhavNT— BeautiyoncÃ© (@Beautiyonce) January 22, 2023
Beyoncé brings the value while increasing the value of her own product. In this case, she delivered – with an eye to what’s to come. Because in deliberately not including any music from Renaissance in this performance, she protected the tour. We’ve yet to get a formal tour announcement but word is, it’s coming in February, during Black History Month. And even for $24 million she’s not giving away anything about what we might expect for the Renaissance tour.
Look, we still don’t have those visuals so she’s not about to tease out whatever it is that she has planned on someone’s janky TikTok. But we may have learned something she didn’t want us to know. Gerrick Kennedy tweeted and deleted this bit of information:
BeyoncÃ© is reportedly recovering from foot surgery. pic.twitter.com/UZTd8RjYuw— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) January 21, 2023
The foot surgery hasn’t been confirmed. And Gerrick may have revealed something the Queen did not want to be revealed. So we’ll have to see what comes of it and how she follows up this show. Like how much money do I need to be putting away? Do I need to take a day off on the day the tickets go on sale so I can park myself with all my devices and every connection I can find so I can secure my seats? It’s a milestone birthday for me this year. And my dream is that she’ll be performing somewhere on my birthday and I’ll be able to see her. I’m not lying when I say that I spend too much energy every day considering this possibility.