On the Run Tour w/ Beyoncé & Jay-Z @ Safeco Field, 7/30/14
Review by Dagmar
While I drove to Safeco Field for the Beyoncé/Jay-Z On the Run Tour on Wednesday evening, I listened to the radio. The DJ asked a female caller what she looked forward to seeing that evening. Without hesitation, the caller responded, “I wanna see Beyoncé shake it.”
Beyoncé did shake it, that’s for sure. But she also sang beautifully and projected a huge, rare charisma. It’s easy to see that she might dominate on any co-headlining tour. What happened though was a show with husband and musical collaborator, Jay-Z (whose verse delivery was hypnotic). It’s hard to say whether Beyoncé or Jay-Z had the larger number of fans – although if you’re a fan, you’ve probably heard music they’ve collaborated on – but it’s not a competition. You know these are two of the most famous people on the planet; after all, Word autocorrects the accent in Beyonce’s name if you leave it out.
The On the Run Tour, ambitious in scope (it had its own movie trailer featuring Beyoncé and Jay-Z as outlaws à la Bonnie and Clyde), sold out Safeco Field’s 54,000-seating. The stage, effectively bookended by two giant jumbotrons, made good use of that field. At several points Beyoncé and Jay-Z sang on a platform near center field. And for your costume needs, each singer had several outfit changes, including a bondage type ensemble for Beyoncé.
Themes of love and equality ran through Beyoncé’s songs. “Run the World (Girls),” “Flawless,” “Naughty Girl” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It,)” showcased Beyoncé’s strength in this area. She also performed several cool ballads/slower songs such as “Baby Boy,” “Why Don’t You Love Me?” and “Drunk In Love.” Jay-Z’s set list contribution was on the lustier side with “Show Me What You Got,” “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),” although he did venture into a romantic area with “Holy Grail,” a song originally performed with Justin Timberlake. Last night’s show had Beyoncé, in a great opportunity, on Timberlake’s part. Jay-Z also performed some of his, what I will call, angrier songs, including “On to the Next One” and “99 Problems.” Beyoncé/Jay-Z collaborations “Upgrade U” and “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” received a particularly strong reception, and while all the transitioning between songs could have been problematic, the set list was set up just right.