Show Review: On the Run II – Beyoncé & Jay-Z @ CenturyLink Field

Show Review: On the Run IIBeyoncé and Jay-Z (with CHLOE x HALLE) @ CenturyLink Field 10/4/2018
By Lisa Hagen Glynn

Jay-Z & Beyoncé – photo by Raven Varona/Parkwood/PictureGroup

Beyoncé and Jay-Z slayed at CenturyLink Field on October 4th. Seattle was the final stop on their On the Run II tour, promoting their new shared album, EVERYTHING IS LOVE. They told the story of their relationship through song, video, dance, and plenty of fire.

The Carters, clad in all white and holding hands, were lowered onto the stage in an open elevator flanked by giant digital crosses. She sparkled in a sequined bodysuit, thigh-high stockings, and a flat circular hat, and he wore a striking suit, head bandanna, and large gold medallion. As Beyoncé sang the opening lines of “Holy Grail,” Jay-Z shouted “You ready?!” and the crowd erupted.

The show was like a Las Vegas spectacular crossed with a Broadway production. A wall of video screens spanned the width of the stadium, and a live videography crew projected close-ups of the performers and added impressive effects on the spot. An entourage of 30 or so backup dancers and a New Orleans-style brass band were arranged vertically in a three-story square behind center stage. Two moving-sidewalk catwalks extended from the main stage down the length of the field. A section of stage later separated off and moved overhead, to the delight of the center audience.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z shared many tunes, but also performed solo while the other underwent one of countless wardrobe changes. Queen Bey impressively hip-hopped the whole 2 ½-hour set in tall heels, and was as exceptional a vocalist as a dancer. Jay-Z rapped with ease, and invited the audience to sing along, make some noise, wave their hands, and illuminate their cell phones to create a starry sky. Apart from some unexpected audio cutouts for the west half of the stadium and the unavoidable echo of such a large venue, the sound was clear and powerful. The whole performance was larger than life, and impeccably choreographed.

Beyoncé – photo by Raven Varona/Parkwood/PictureGroup

Jay-Z & Beyoncé – photo by Raven Varona/Parkwood/PictureGroup

In a stunning 43-song set, Jay and Bey played hits from throughout their careers, including “Crazy in Love,” “Big Pimpin’,” “Formation,” “Drunk In Love,” and “99 Problems.” Recorded video interludes played periodically, featuring artsy home videos, provocative text, and music by other artists. Recurring themes of the show were heartbreak, forgiveness, empowerment, and – most of all – love.

The evening closed with “APESHIT,” off the Carters’ latest album. Large pyrotechnics brought welcome warmth to the more northern seats in the midnight air. Beyoncé thanked, “my best friend…I love you deep,” and Jay called Bey “the greatest entertainer on the planet,” before they thanked their crew and declared that “everything is love.” All night, the couple owned the stage like the entertainment royalty they are.

R&B sister duo CHLOE x HALLE opened the evening, sharing a mix of sweet vocal harmonies (“I see love/I see happiness”) along with guitar and keys. They wore sapphire-blue sequined jumpsuits, black boots, and long braids, and their microphone stands were adorned with floral pink and green. After their set, the Seattle winner of the OTR II scholarship was announced as Federal Way senior Khairi Perry, who was awarded $100,000 for his college studies.

CHLOE x HALLE – photos by Robin Harper/Parkwood/PictureGroup


Photos: Lily Allen @ Showbox at the Market

English singer-songwriter Lily Allen recently played at Showbox at the Market. The sold-out show was near the end of the North American leg of her No Shame tour in support of her latest album by the same name. It’s been over four years since Lily’s last show in Seattle at the Paramount Theatre – and it was good to have her back in town.

Lily Allen


Show Review & Photos: M. Ward @ the Paramount

M. Ward @ the Paramount, 6/21
Show Review & Photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn

M. Ward

Seated alone on the vast Paramount stage, M. Ward opened his show with only guitar and gritty vocals, lending an intimacy to the space. He played two solo tunes to an appreciatively hushed audience, and then brought up his band for a 40-minute set of energetic alt-country.

An established headliner in his own right, Ward opened tonight for fellow Portlanders, The Decemberists. His summer tour promoted the “surprise” June 2018 album, What a Wonderful Industry, a compilation of musical character sketches from his decades in show business.

Following M. Ward, The Decemberists performed a long set of quirky folk-rock and operatic sea chanties.

M. Ward


Show Preview: Paul van Dyk @ Showbox SoDo – Sat. 11/17

Show Preview: Paul van Dyk @ Showbox SoDo

Paul van Dyk – photo by Larissa Underwood

On Saturday night, DJ Paul van Dyk will headline Showbox SoDo. While fans wait for the December 7th release of his latest album, Music Rescues Me, I’m guessing the German artist should play a few tracks from it to give them a taste. By the way, I love that title. Music does have that power. Van Dyk also just said that, “Music has the power to clear your head, heal your heart and lift your spirits. It’s a remarkable, limitless force in our lives and unites us with people from around the world.” His sounds are distinctive in the trance genre, gorgeous and fulfilling. Don’t believe me immediately? Well, van Dyk is one of the biggest names in electronic music, having been nominated for – and winning – many awards from loads of awarders.

Additional details and tickets are here. The show is 18+.


Photos: Carlie Hanson @ Paramount Theatre

Carlie Hanson opened for Troye Sivan last week at the Paramount Theatre. The 18-year-old pop star got her start on YouTube and has even been endorsed by Taylor Swift. Her very popular single, “Only One,” has had 47M+ plays on Spotify.

Carlie Hanson