Beyonce concert review

By Melisa Tang

BeyonceWembley Arena - 10th November 2003

It was obvious from the start that there was one "Independent Woman" destined for super-stardom. Sure, the other two members of Destiny's Child were likely to be successful in their chosen fields, but Beyoncé Knowles proved early on that she was the main driving force behind the trio's massive chart successes, writing and producing hits such as 'Bootylicious', 'Survivor' and the worldwide number one, 'Independent Women'. Her own solo album, 'Dangerously In Love', shot to the top of the UK album charts when it was released back in July, and ever since then, the Texas' golden girl can seem to do no wrong.

Beyoncé's European tour touched down in London on November 10th, with an extra date added on the 11th due to popular demand. If her previous stage performances at the MTV Video Music Awards and the recent European Music Awards were anything to go by, fans were in for a real treat. And they were certainly not disappointed.

The former 5ive member, Abs, and the exceptionally talented Shaun Emmanuel (who, coincidently, also opened for Kelly Rowland on her European tour), supported the Destiny's Child lead singer, doing a good job of hyping up the crowd for the main event.

When the lights dimmed completely and the atmosphere grew quiet, the curtains opened to reveal a couch in the middle of the stage with several female dancers shaking their booties to the Eastern vibes of 'Baby Boy', a collaboration with reggae artist Sean Paul. Then, Beyoncé made her appearance suspended from the ceiling, and the crowd went wild as they watched her being lowered onto the red lounger. Wearing a cropped red and gold top with matching pants, she showed that she could dance as well as sing, and moved effortlessly into 'Naughty Girl', a track which samples the Donna Summer classic, 'Love To Love You Baby'.

Donning a white tailcoat and hat, the 22-year-old gave a beautiful rendition of 'Fever' from her new movie, 'The Fighting Temptations', in which Beyoncé stars alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. and Mike Epps. Then, continuing in the mid-tempo pattern, she performed the eclectic 'Hip Hop
Star', a track featuring Sleepy Brown and OutKast's Big Boi, before getting into Seventies mode with 'Work It Out', the theme song to her debut film 'Austin Powers 3: Goldmember'. For the ballad section of the show, Beyoncé slipped into a silky gold dress, and sat under a makeshift
starlit sky, singing slow jams including 'Be With You', 'Gift From Virgo' and 'Speechless', leaving the largely teenage audience in awe of her beauty and vocal prowess.

Next came a Destiny's Child interlude, with Beyoncé going back to her roots singing snippets of the group's songs 'Bugaboo', 'No, No, No', 'Jumpin Jumpin', and 'Say My Name', as well as the hook of ''03 Bonnie & Clyde', the summer smash she featured on with Jay-Z. Displaying her love
of Michael Jackson's music, Beyoncé launched into a few MJ cuts from his 'Off The Wall' era, before reverting back to present day and the P.Diddy-produced 'Summertime', from 'The Fighting Temptations' movie soundtrack.

The final ballad of the night was the title track 'Dangerously In Love', on which Beyoncé displayed her extensive vocal range to the fans' delight. As the stage cleared and the lights dimmed, there seemed to be only one song that the sexy star had not yet performed - her UK No.1 'Crazy In Love'. The crowd jumped to their feet as soon as they heard the unmistakable beat, and sure enough, Miss Knowles appeared in a glittering silver dress, launching into her debut solo single. The sound of the whole arena singing along with her, word for word, was astounding, and the beaming smile on Beyoncé's face said it all. When two male dancers stripped off their overcoat and hat, the girls in the audience went mad, and the screams became deafening as the one and only Jay-Z ran on stage to spit his verse halfway through the track. Although many fans, including myself, were still in shock at the appearance of Jigga, they left Wembley overjoyed at Beyoncé's whole performance throughout the concert, and felt lucky to have witnessed one of the best gigs of 2003.


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