Unless you’re living under a rock, you know Beyonce has been on a world tour all summer. Forget hot girl summer, it’s been a Bey girl summer. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the hoopla and celebrations as fans have paraded around in innovative, creative, and downright show-stopping fashions. I even enjoyed some of the concert clips because it quickly became obvious with each viewing that Bey made sure each show was unique in its own way.
Finally, after months of anticipation, it was our turn in Seattle and I have to say, I was beyond excited. A few things you should know about me and Bey is that I’m not hive. I have not always enjoyed her music. I was heading to college when DC hit the scene and we were in the midst of a neo soul musical explosion. Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Musiq Soulchild, DeAngelo, and my personal fave, India.Arie were creating music that spoke to my soul. This is the music that shaped my young adulthood. So, while I would bop to Destiny’s Child and Beyonce when she went solo every once in a while, it wasn’t my go to. It didn’t speak to me.
That changed with the Lemonade album. That spiritual catharsis of an album resonated with my “raging and seeking rest” black woman soul. I felt that album. It was artistic, vulnerable, creative, joyful, and black AF!!! I LOVED it. That album was followed by a string of albums that I felt connected to. When Homecoming dropped on Netflix, I watched it so much I can probably quote it. It was the kind of cultural moment that I understood and similarly celebrated. So, when Renaissance was released I knew I was going to make an effort to get tickets to the concert. She said she made that album as a way to celebrate black joy. Joy is my top personal value. Cultivating and living a life of joy is a top priority for me. Black joy as centerpiece is everything I’m about. This was a cultural moment I wanted to experience first-hand. What an experience it was!
The thing I have always known to be true of Beyonce is she is a consummate entertainer. She understands how to connect with the audience and amplify their energy. My first Bey concert was Bey Day and it was a core memory I got to create with my female cousins. We had a time. Fast forward a decade+, and the connection for me now extends beyond the entertainment to seeing an artist who I understand in new ways.
That’s part of the magic and beauty of music. It evolves as we evolve and it can speak to us in new and interesting ways throughout that journey. While I don’t consider myself hive by any stretch of the imagination, I have grown to enjoy Beyonce’s musical gifts. And I was happy to be in the crowd in Seattle singing Love on Top at the top of my lungs, dancing like a thottie to Church Girl, and shouting for Blue when she killed her choreo like a pro. It was not just a good time. It was a damn good time. Maybe I’ll catch you at the next one!