Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour Proves Her Power

I didn’t quite realize how culturally significant Beyoncé was until I went to the Renaissance World Tour.

As I tried my best to navigate the crowd entering SoFi Stadium for her Los Angeles show, all I could focus on were the swarms of silver and chrome. The creativity was delightful, as I passed rhinestone crop tops, tights, every style of skirt, an army of light-up cowboy hats, and a simple sparkly dress walking next to a getup made of almost exclusively chains.

DJ Khaled kicked off the night, bringing out a variety of notable special guests. Wiz Khalifa sang “See You Again,” and Offset from Migos performed “Bad and Boujee.” More popped out from behind the stage in what felt like a lucky dip of surprise performers, including 2 Chainz, Coi Leray, Roddy Rich, and Lil Wayne. The opening act lineup was the craziest I’d ever seen, but if it was going to happen anywhere, it was here. It’s L.A. and, more importantly, it’s Beyoncé.

Beyoncé strikes a pose in her RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR in Southern California. | Photo: Mason Poole

Before she went on, and every time she wasn’t on stage, audience members would dance and sing with one another, often crossing rows and joining strangers in celebration (quickly scolded by security). I’ve never seen pre-show energy like it.  

Then Beyoncé took the stage and wasted no time showing off her acrobatic pipes, hitting every note in every run with ease. She stood still, held the microphone gently, and sang “Dangerously in Love,” an ode to her Destiny’s Child days. After a few more vocal gymnastics, most notably shown off by “1+1,” she disappeared behind the stage for the next part of the show.

Changing up the energy entirely, Beyoncé boldly boasted “ALIEN SUPERSTAR,” “CUFF IT,” and “BREAK MY SOUL,” recent cuts that have been popular on the airwaves, with the former expertly incorporating elements of her throwback hit “Sweet Dreams,” creating even more danceability to the groove-laden track. And, of course, the audience cleared the mute challenge during “ENERGY,” a staple of each show.

When the beginning notes of “Formation” started, I was immediately taken back to when the music video first dropped — it was all my friends and I could talk about. Beyoncé remarked how she’s been doing this for over twenty years, and how each and every night, she “doesn’t take it for granted.” As she really took her time to look up into each and every section of the stadium, you could tell she really meant it. Her eyes were filled with gratitude and joy, and she placed a hand on her chest. 

Beyoncé opens the first of three shows at SoFi Stadium in a stately Tamara Ralph design, styled by Shiona Turini. Hair by Neal Farinah. Makeup by Rokael Lizama. Jewelry by Tiffany & Co. | Photo: Mason Poole

Beyoncé’s career has soundtracked the last few decades with a thick permanent marker, intrepidly piercing culture. It is so wide reaching, it seemed like each audience member had a song like that for them. Whether it was punching fists in the air to the beat to “Crazy In Love,” singing every word to her verse in “Savage,” or collectively screaming “hey, Miss Carter!” when “Partition” started, the joy on every person’s face was the special kind, the kind that music like Beyoncé’s can instantly take you to.

Her daughter Blue Ivy made a surprise appearance, joining in to dance to “Black Parade” and “My Power.” The showmanship was charismatic and proper (she learned from the best) as she motioned to her sparkly “Los Angeles” shirt she donned. Beyoncé beamed at her with glowing pride, and it was both a precious way to celebrate family and a shocking reminder of how impressive it is that Beyoncé is a mother and reaching middle age; and I was not clocking it at all as she outdanced her dancers, or more accurately, continued to outperform the world.

One of the moments that truly captured the radiating energy of the night included the rapturous “Love On Top” sing-along, where Beyoncé stopped singing halfway through the famous end-of-song key change, and the audience sang a whopping five stanzas on their own. “Okay now,” she playfully teased, holding in a laugh, finally calming the arena down.

She concluded the show flying, beaming over the crowd on a chrome horse (à la her RENAISSANCE cover), the tail of her silver dress flying behind her. Beyoncé’s outfits perfectly billow away from her even as she dances, and this is no exception.



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