Exclusive: To a crowd that included Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Frank Ocean, Bey performed cuts from her repertoire as well as her latest album, "4," in its entirety.
Beyonce dominated New York City, New York’s Roseland Ballroom last night with the third gig in her 4 Intimate Nights With Beyonce run. The former Destiny’s Child leader, clad in a shimmering metallic dress and high heels, fired up the crowd - which included Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Kelly Rowland, Frank Ocean and Ne-Yo - with a medley of her classic hits and her latest album 4 in its entirety. HipHopDX was there.
Backed by her signature all-female band, Beyonce stuck to the same setlist as the two nights prior, emerged to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are.” With three sassy, afro-puffed backup dancers, she hit her cues as she dipped into Destiny’s Child’s arsenal of hits, reviving “Bootylicious,” “No, No, No (Parts 1 and 2),” “Survivor” and more.
“The label told me I didn’t have one hit song on my album,” she said of her debut, Dangerously in Love. “I guess they were kind of right. I had five.” The line, which she read off a teleprompter that scrolled all dialogue and lyrics throughout the show, felt scripted - a small price to pay to witness such a tightly stitched performance.
Though her husband was in attendance, Beyonce handled “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” and “Crazy in Love” all on her own, tipping her hat to her Hollywood side gig with a rendition of “Dreamgirls.” Before capping her stroll down memory lane, she instructed the audience to wave in time to “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” the sea of light-up rings passed out at the door blinking in time to the track.
Beyonce took a break midway through the show to give her string section some shine, segueing into 4, performed almost entirely in sequence. Stretched across a piano, she exasperatedly howled “1+1,” turning on the offensive during “Best Thing I Never Had.” “Party,” “Love on Top” and “Countdown” served as a string of crowd-pleasers, while the emphatic “End of Time” featured one of the most emphatic dance breakdowns of the night.
After getting on her knees to belt out “I Was Here,” Bey addressed those with fast enough fingers to snatch up tickets when they first went on sale (almost all sold out in minutes - some in seconds). “Thank you all, good night!” she exclaimed. The feeling was mutual.