Beyoncé opens the V Festival 2013 rocking the Hylands Park crowd
There is nothing quite like a Beyoncé show. Surrounded by so much hype and fervour, it’s the kind of event that is truly unmissable whether you’re a fan or not.
Last night, undeterred by a 25-minute delay and the persistent rain, it seemed as though the entire V Festival crowd had come down to watch the star’s hotly anticipated performance.
When a flurry of lights and the first visuals start against a stripped back, percussion and bass-heavy intro to Run the World (Girls), you immediately buy into this epic opening. The build-up is all part of her finely constructed performance so when Beyoncé finally appears in an all-white, figure-hugging corset dress without an apology for her latenesss, the crowd simply cheered.
The meticulously arranged set included songs from across her eight-year solo career, all with a unique twist or instrumental flavour. If I Were a Boy was mixed with The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, there’s a disco version of the Naughty Girl and a dancehall breakdown in Baby Boy, featuring Sean Paul (albeit sadly only on record).
From the bolshy attitude while demonstrating her dance ability in Diva, to singing her slower numbers passionately strewn across a piano, Beyoncé is incredibly captivating. Her fans never fail to respond, engaging in a jazz call and response (“Say hey Mrs Carter!”), singing along to Irreplaceable and putting their hands up in Single Ladies.
Yes there are sound issues, and of course endless video mongtages for her numerous costume changes (annoying interruptions to an otherwise perfect set), but the latter are simply the result of delivering a high-production show.
At Glastonbury she was the surprise show-stealer – a global popstar against an altogether alternative lineup. Here, she is at home as the headline act, but no less surprising – this time she brings that unpredictable rockstar presence to a very commercial festival.
Ultimately Beyoncé is the finest performer of this generation. Her impressive vocal range alone is enough to wow a crowd (take her spine-tingling rendition of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You as a lead-in to finale song Halo), while her repertoire has such breadth and longlasting appeal. This festival audience – and surely the rest of the world – can’ t wait to see what what she’ll deliver next.
Watch the video for Run the World (Girls) here: