j + b: on the run in baltimore
[gallery columns="5" link="none" ids="3645,3646,3647,3648,3649,3650,3651,3652,3653,3654,3655,3656,3657,3658,3659,3660,3663,3664,3667,3670,3671,3672,3673,3674,3675,3676,3677,3678,3679,3680,3681,3682,3683,3684,3685,3686,3687,3688,3690,3692,3693,3694,3696,3697,3698,3699,3700,3701,3702,3703,3704,3705,3706,3707,3708,3709,3710,3711,3712,3713,3714,3716,3718,3719,3721,3722"] I am not a fan of big stadium concerts. Too often they are filled with annoying crowds and fail to live up to expectations. Even so, when I found out Beyonce and Jay Z were going on tour I snagged the cheapest seats for my sister and I so we could celebrate her birthday and check out this rare appearance of the two performing together.
Then I forgot about it. It wasn't until last week we realized we didn't quite know where the concert even was or how to get there from DC. Thankfully, Val figured out the logistics and we decided easier to rent a car and drive out than to rely on the train (or get stuck somewhere late at night in Baltimore).
We ordered a car and parking online literally the night before. On Monday, we grabbed the car after eating some Shake Shack, which seemed a good idea at the time but it's only after you eat fast food that you realize you never really need to eat fast food...anyway we figured out how to drive this car, then headed out on the 295 E to Baltimore. Traffic was horrendous, as expected, but it gave us some time to chat and the tree-lined highway made the trip enjoyable. We fought over 50s on 5 vs top 40 and tried to guess what types of music sirius stations like 'Watercolor' played--smooth jazz ;0. It was nice to have some wheels, a sunroof over our head, a/c on and a tank full (or, quarter full, it was a rental) of gas.
Eventually we got to Baltimore, found our parking garage, hopped in an uber and arrived at M&T stadium. We were a little bit late so we didn't waste any time trying to find our seats, but instead just walked in to the first place that looked like a good view. It was a great view and with no one checking tickets, we just stayed dancing in the aisle all night.
Beyonce and Jay Z did not disappoint. Equally show stopping, in very different ways & with polar opposite attire, they graced the stage each individually and as a duo. Their star-quality could be felt across the field, and the energy in the open air stadium, hot and humid under the full moon, was electric.
They played some hits, but mostly focused on 2014 material. My favorite parts were the French new wave influenced visuals throughout--especially the tree dressed city playground during Jay Z's Hard Knock Life and the black and white film montages, the subtle glances between J + B, Beyonce's Houston jacket and Flag dress, Jay Z's command of the stage, Beyonce's command of the crowd, the covers, including Tina Turner and Michael Jackson, clever transitions and the most cinematic home videos I've ever seen.
The finale moment when the two physically joined together and, visually, appeared with Blue, revealed a family affair of heart and soul with a backdrop of fame and a foreground of hard work + dedication to some semblance of privacy...it felt almost spiritual. They may be worldwide super stars, but at the end of the day it's the three of them, building a family and somehow keeping it together, living the life just like the rest of us (well, kind of).
For them, it's just real life.
Overall, a very curated and aesthetically pleasing post-modern tale of love, life and modern-day culture. All the single ladies ain't got ninety nine problems but a surfboard is drunk in love can I get a ?
Really though, well done production and art team behind the on the run tour. And kudos to whoever is taking care of Blue Ivy.