hmv reviews… Beyoncé @ Birmingham's LG Arena
Fresh from surprising the world with her new self-titled album late last year, Beyoncé brought her revamped 'Mrs Carter World Tour' to the UK again this week and we were there to review things last night (Sunday February 23rd). Here's what went down…
Beyoncé. Come on.
Birmingham LG Arena, the 16,000 capacity enormodome on the edge of Brum.
Any good supports?
Not really, French DJ Monsieur Adi played loud EDM for about half an hour before the set started, but no-one was really watching.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
An absolute sell out, totally, and they were pretty rabid, especially given it was a Sunday night. As for singing along, it was louder than Beyonce most of the time, especially during 'Irreplaceable' and 'Halo'.
So what was the set like? What did she play?
22 songs, at least eight costume changes and almost everything you want to hear. She began with a ferocious run through of 'Run The World (Girls)' and then went straight into 'Flawless' and 'Yonce' from her new self-titled album before firing out a powerful 'Get Me Bodied'.
The first half of the show focused more heavily on her newer cuts, with the likes of 'Blow', 'Partition', 'Haunted' and 'Drunk In Love' all aired in the set's mellow mid-section. She finished incredibly strongly though, playing 'Why Don't You Love Me', 'Irreplaceable', 'Love On Top', 'Crazy In Love' and 'Single Ladies' as the final five of her main set, which is one hell of a streak.
She encored with her customary cover of Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You', a soaring 'XO' and a show-stopping rendition of 'Halo'.
Any good between song banter?
There was plenty, lots of thank you's to the crowd and geeing things up in between tracks, nothing too profound or radical, but when the show is as crammed full as this there's no need really…
Did she put on much of a show?
It was completely spectacular. The set is broken up by lavish video presentations featuring Beyonce, at various points, in royal regalia, dressed up as a WWII fighter pilot and frolicking on the beach with her family. She brought fire, glitter and confetti cannons, along with a huge 12-piece, all female band and an amazing troupe of dancers, including Les Twins, two identical twin dancers, the only male members of the onstage troupe.
What was the highlight of the set?
'Get Me Bodied' sounded colossal as did 'Single Ladies' and 'Love On Top', but it was undoubtedly 'Irreplaceable' which got the biggest reaction from the crowd.
Where can I catch her next?
She's in Birmingham again tonight, and then she plays two shows in Manchester before starting a six-show residency at London's O2 Arena. She ends her run on these shores with four shows at Dublin's O2 Arena. Good luck getting a ticket though.
Beyoncé's new self-titled album is out now in hmv stores.