“If you all came to slay tonight, say ‘I slay.' If you slay today and every day, say 'I slay.' If you came to jam and have a good time, say 'I slay,'” Beyoncé shouted to fans to kick off her Formation World Tour concert at Hersheypark Stadium Sunday night.
And through a two-hour show that included at least five leotard costume changes, a “Purple Rain” tribute to Prince, more than half a dozen songs from her new visual album “Lemonade” and old favorites like “Crazy in Love” and “Run the World (Girls),” our Queen Bey slayed.
DJ Khaled opened the show around 7:30 p.m. with a half-hour set that got everyone on their feet. He played a number of pop hits from his own “All I Do Is Win” to Rihanna’s “Work.”
But it was Beyoncé who thousands of fans paid upwards of $100 to see. And she kept the energy going from the moment she said, “Welcome to the Formation Tour” until the very end.
Here are our top five moments from the show.
Get in ‘Formation’
If anyone knows how to make an entrance it’s Queen Bey.
After a high-energy set from DJ Khaled, fans sat patiently waiting to see what Beyoncé would do with a giant four-sided screen in the center of the stage. And as the screen flickered to life and slowly began to rotate, the anticipation grew. Fans watched intently for several minutes as the video tower did a complete 180, flashing images of Beyoncé and a flying eagle that were visible from all angles as it spun. The suspense was killing fans who screamed every time a new image appeared on the screen, hoping that meant Beyoncé would soon appear in the flesh.
And when she finally did, she didn’t disappoint. Dressed in a tight black leotard and a wide-brimmed black hat, Beyoncé and her posse of female dancers reminded the crowd what a powerful performer she is as they marched down the catwalk and performed “Formation” and “Sorry” on a smaller platform further into the audience. Her spot-on dancing could be seen from every seat as it was projected on the rotating screen with colorful graphics and effects. Throughout the show, that screen would also show video montages and personal moments with her husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy.
The Hershey crowd must have especially loved her intro. As she made her way back to the main stage, Beyoncé said she thought Hershey was trying to set the record for loudest audience.
“You might be the loudest audience in America,” she said.
‘Me, Myself and I’
About a third of the way into the show, Beyoncé sent her dancers backstage and slowed things down to introduce a song from her first album, “Dangerously in Love.” It’s a song that talks about the most important relationship we have in our lives, she said. Our relationship with ourselves.
Though “Me, Myself and I” was released in 2003, the song certainly fits in with the female empowerment themes in “Lemonade.”
“If you’re a young woman, know you’re strong,” she told the crowd before singing the song. “There’s no such thing as a weak woman.”
She didn’t need backup dancers, video projections or colorful graphics to hit this one out of the park, either. Her powerful vocals were enough to do the job.
Speaking of powerhouse vocals, Beyoncé surprised the audience with an a cappella version of the upbeat song “Love on Top,” to which fans sang along every word. Without any music to hide behind, this song gave the audience a look at the raw talent that has earned Beyoncé her reign as queen of the pop music industry.
Walking on water
Beyoncé didn’t have to sit on a throne during a performance of “Ring the Alarm” for her Beyhive to recognize her as the queen she is. And she didn’t have to walk on water either. But she did both on Sunday night. Beyoncé and her dancers jumped, danced and splashed each other in a pool of ankle-deep water during a thoroughly entertaining, back-to-back performance of “Freedom” off her sixth album “Lemonade” and “Survivor” from her “Destiny’s Child” days. Judging by the screams and applause, this moment was definitely a crowd favorite.
Closing the show with a power ballad like “Halo” makes up for the fact that “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was absent from the show’s set list. Beyoncé dedicated the song to “someone you love,” adding that she hoped her fans liked the show because they inspire her every time she performs. A series of white shimmering fireworks set off behind the stage sent the show out with a bang and made this last performance one that will be difficult to forget.