We entered the floor of the arena to realize that we had claimed the third row seat dead center to the stage. As you can imagine, I was deeply satisfied and thrilled with our placement . Security immediately made us sit on the floor, for the concert was not not due to start till 8:00 pm. Slowly it was becoming a reality that I would be witnessing one of the greatest entertainers of my generation shake, pop, lock, and drop her way around the stage. I believe everyone around me also began to come to this realization because quickly the volume within the arena grew louder as people began to file in.
Exactly at 8:00pm, Luke James, Beyonce’s opening act, was set to hit the stage. Immediately as he step onto the stage, I fell in love with him…visually speaking. Don’t get me wrong he is extremely vocally talented, but shirtless Luke James + Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” left me unable to think or process anything for about 30 minutes. Can you say FIONE!!!
At 8:30, Luke James wrapped up his performance and we waited for an hour and thirty minutes for the set to changed in preparation for Mrs. Carter. The wait was sped up by the continuous play of music being blasted from the stage’s speakers. Everyone in the arena was “showing out” to Juicy J’s- Bandz A Make Her Dance and 2 Chainz- Birthday Song. There was also a surprise solo impromptu dance routine to Kanye’s West-Clique given by a random concert goer, who had the whole arena in applause. As you can see Nashvillians can find plenty of ways to entertain themselves for an hour and a half.
Finally! It was time. The arena went dark and video images were emitted from the two flat projectors on stage. The show had started! Soon, Beyonce appeared arising from beneath the stage. The whole crowd went insane!
Immediately as Mrs. Carter appeared on stage, I battled with an internal struggle: “Should I watch the show or take as many videos and pictures as my iPhone battery will allow?”. I wanted to have as much memorabilia as possible to show to my kids (who have not been conceived yet). Luckily, I looked to my right and saw that my friend Taylor seemed to be battling with the same technological demon and I was not alone in my struggle. Therefore, I decided to do a mixture of “watching and snapping”. I figured the images/videos I did not manage to get Taylor would have; and I was right.
I wish I had a better visual description of Beyonce, but all I can or want to say is that ” She is truly beautiful and just as stunning on camera as she is in real life”. I believe a lot of her beauty comes from her confidence and her strong sense of self, which you immediately grasp as she intentionally breaks choreography to do a spontaneous “booty shake” or “whip her hair back and forth”. Until I saw Beyonce perform live in concert, I was always focused on her exterior appearance – the smooth skin, the toned legs, the booty; she was perfect. However, on July 13th, I finally began to understand her perfection comes from her acceptance of who she is a person and an entertainer. For the first time, I didn’t look at Beyonce and think, “I wish I her!” Instead I thought, “I want to be a better version of myself.” Not just physically, but emotionally. I wanted to be a better friend, daughter, and Christian. I felt that I could come close to emulating Beyonce’s spirit by changing a few “knots and bolts” in my character.
Corny, right? But it’s the truth.
Around 11:30, the concert ended. The stage was dimmed and lights illuminated the arena. Up til Beyonce disappeared from the stage, I had not realized that my feet were numb from standing in heels for three hours straight. I immediately scanned the arena floor for the nearest exit and mentally prepared myself for the painful trek back to the car.
I I left Bridgestone Arena in awe and wondering if this was truly,in fact, a dream. As we walked back to the car, I slowly began to try and piece together the last 16+ hours of my life. Everything felt like it happened so quick, and I was desperately trying to preserve every detail of it. As we drove away from downtown Nashville, I laid my head back on headboard of my seat and listened to voices coming from the radio. I thought to myself, “My very first concert I ever attended was Beyonce! What performance can ever top this?”
I this have yet to find an answer to this question.