The rain poured, the show was delayed, but then Beyoncé proved once again why she’s one of the greatest entertainers of all time.
The singer wowed the audience during her Formation World Tour Friday night at Soldier Field. Queen Bey started the show with a thunderbolt as she hit the stage with the lead single, “Formation,” off of her latest album, “Lemonade,” challenging everyone to channel their inner Beyoncé and declare, “I slay.”
Voices in the audience resonated throughout the night, whether it was when singing, “Becky with the good hair,” during “Sorry” or following along to “Baby Boy,” the singer’s 2003 Caribbean-influenced track.
As if the downpour before the show wasn’t enough, Beyoncé proved her prowess as one of the world’s greatest entertainers once again while continuing with her act when it started to rain during the show. She completed her sensual dance number on a chair during “Rocket,” performed with her dancers a country-based routine during “Daddy Lessons,” and led a roaring crowd in repeating the end of “Love on Top” — all in the rain.
“Y’all sound so beautiful,” she said smiling. “This rain is so beautiful. Thank y’all for this rain.”
Beyoncé followed with her favorite song to sing every night, “1+1,” before paying tribute to Prince by singing “The Beautiful Ones.” She pointed to the sky before walking off the stage as Prince’s voice filled the arena as “Purple Rain” played.
The only time the stadium fell quiet was near the end of the show when the crowd was entranced with Beyoncé’s personal, family footage flashing on the screen. The clip ended similar to the “Lemonade” visual album as Jay-Z’s grandmother, Hattie, declared how she took life’s lemons and made lemonade.
The sold-out, two-hour show then crescendoed as Beyoncé followed her dancers to the Bey Stage, layered with water, for “Freedom.” Continuing with her themes of empowerment and self-confidence that date back to the reign of Destiny’s Child, the former lead singer followed with “Survivor.”
The entertainment star performed songs off the latest album mixed with hits from her earlier projects while also dancing to the likes of Vanity 6’s “Nasty Girl” and O.T. Genasis’s “Cut It.” Beyoncé also paid respect to Black Panther Party leader, Huey P. Newton, after performing the rock-influenced “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” as she took a seat in a chair that reminded of a photo Newton took years ago.
The 34-year-old entertainer seemed to be in pure bliss throughout the first of a two-night visit to Chicago. From the looks of delight when a fan jumped up and shook his hair as she passed by during “All Night” to smiling and laughter during her set, Beyoncé seemed to be having the time of her life getting the city in formation.
Just before her last song, Beyoncé thanked God and the crowd for allowing her to sing and do what she loves. She then belted “Halo” with fireworks lighting up the sky.
Rain or shine, nothing was going to stop Beyoncé or her fans from a memorable night. Fans of the singer left mesmerized.
“I think when the rain came during the show, it was something so uplifting and empowering because she just seemed more soulful,” said Tae Anderson, 27, who traveled from South Bend, Indiana for her first Beyoncé experience.
Chicago native LaNae Plaxico, 20, said, “I think she’s finding herself, she’s trying something different and I think she’s just trying to show the world who she is. She’s just trying to empower people that look like her and think like her.”
Justin Fitzgerald, 27, of South Bend, said, “It’s an experience no one will ever forget. We will always remember this day.”
By Jasmine Cannon