This past weekend I had the chance to go see the almighty Beyonce and Jay Z. I thought to see both of the King and Queen would make my day but the true gift was being able to take a friend along for the experience. Because he's such an amazing writer I challenged him to share his recap of the experience. Well I'm happy to share he's now a BEY-LIEVER

"Does anyone remember having a Blackberry? It was the best thing ever back in the day. You got excited when you found another Blackberry user so you could exchange BBM pins. Rolling that trackball made you feel like nothing could stop you (until you had to remove the ball yourself for cleaning because, every now and again, it would stop moving). Nothing could possibly be a better mobile than that – until the introduction of the iPhone. You were resistant at first, but your Blackberry finally crashed on you for the last time and, in a fit of rage, you go to the store and upgrade to this new iPhone that you just don’t understand. You think it’s the dumbest thing ever until you have it. After that, you can’t even imagine how you got through life before you joined the Apple family. This is exactly how I felt when an angel gifted me with a ticket to the On the Run 2 Tour…

 

Picture it: Buffalo, New York; August 18, 2018. The day started out as any other Saturday would for me: I woke up to a phone call from a friend reminding me about a workshop I needed to be at that I clearly forgot about. We attended the workshop together and, afterward, hit up some stores so that she could find an outfit to wear that night. You see, she was going to The Carters’ On the Run Tour 2 concert. As I don’t really consider myself a member of the BeyHive, I opted to not even try to find a ticket, and I was okay with that. I helped my friend find an outfit and went back home. That’s it.

 

In my head, I wasn’t missing anything. After all, I’ve seen Beyoncé perform live once before when the second string Destiny’s Child was an opening act for TLC’s Fanmail Tour, right? Wrong. I have always been told that seeing Destiny’s Child was nothing compared to one of Bey’s live shows. I didn’t know that I would find out exactly what that meant – but like I mentioned before, I also thought my Blackberry was the greatest thing since sliced butter top wheat bread until I upgraded to an iPhone. And upgrade me is exactly what Bey did…

Saturday, August 18, 2018, 3:00 pm. I’ve been home for about 30 minutes now. Because I had some adulting to do, I had just moved a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer. I get back to my apartment to do some cleaning. At 3:45, my friend calls me back and says, “It’s a go…” Well what does that mean? “You’re coming to the concert with me. Be ready by 4:30.” The countdown began…

 

I cannot explain the joy that came over my soul, and I don’t know where it came from, but I hopped up out the bed and into the shower so fast you would’ve thought Wing Kings was in the lobby of my building giving out free samples! Because time was short, I tossed on stonewashed black denim jumpsuit – yes, a #romphim…care – purchased in January (the tags still on it) simply because it didn’t need to be ironed. Jumped in some silver high top sneakers, threw on a dad cap and waited.

 

5:31 pm. We make it to New Era Field. The entire parking lot is a whole mood. People are tailgating like any other event that happens here, and the fashions are everywhere. You could tell this wasn’t just a concert, but an experience that no one would ever forget. As we make our way to pick up our tickets, we see familiar faces and stop for selfies and snapshots – not just “taking pictures,” but capturing the excitement.

 

We finally get settled in our stadium seats towards the end of Chloe & Halle’s set (I’m so mad I missed them though; they have such awesome harmonies), but just in time for DJ Khaled. Khaled entertains as only he can. I run out to say hello to my cousin and have to rush back in because, well, it’s time.

 

Approx. 8:45 pm. The lights go out. It’s happening. I don’t know what feelings I’m feeling because I hate feeling feelings, but I don’t know how to make them go away. And then there they are. Shawn and Beyoncé (I feel like we’re on a first name basis now because you just don’t get somebody’s life together like they did mine after giving such a show and not be my imaginary friends afterwards). It was the perfect balance of energy and excitement. I don’t understand how I could simultaneously overjoyed and annoyed that this was happening, because how dare you take me out of character and have me jumping up and down and carrying on like this – but look: you’re right there. I can see you.

 

Jay served up his vintage classics with an updated look (I like the whole bandana-tied-around-my-black-hair thing he’s doing – go figure). You could not tell me I wasn’t giving all the background vocals when he did Song Cry (and I’m deaf in one ear so I literally cannot sit here and listen to your lies). I loved their duet sets (I always love a good Jay & Bey collab), and I loved the way they looked into each other’s eyes when the time came (scripted or not, it was inspiring). I was also excited to watch the performance of The Story of OJ. Not his, though, the audience’s. You know, just in case…

 

Sequin-spangled bodysuit after sequin-spangled bodysuit, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter stomped her way down that moveable sidewalk on stage and gave the people everything they could possibly ask for. She upgraded my entire existence – if only for one night – causing me to fall crazy in love (or maybe drunk in love after that $13 Labatt) with everything about her. I quickly got in formation while I prayed that she caught me if I ever fell out of line. Her performance was flawless, never missing a single note or bit of choreography (all while wearing her 6-inch heels), especially considering that I can’t even think too hard while I walk down the street because I trip if I do. It was a party. She schooled us in life. She danced for us until the end of time and let us know that she indeed runs the world.

 

 

I had my own countdown going for one song in particular, and then it happened. Beyoncé emerges from backstage donning a tangerine colored Civil War antebellum gown, complete with ruffles and a train. She struts to the end of the runway, takes a seat, and sang I wish I could believe you / Then I’ll be all right… Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. I have always wanted to see this done live, and I got what I wanted – I just wasn’t ready for everything that came with it too. Laced in every note that effortlessly came flying from her larynx were all the feelings I refused to face with anyone who’s ever done me wrong. I had to have a pep talk with myself to remind myself that I had in contacts and nobody had time for tears – …but it’s all because you lied… – but I wasn’t listening to myself. I was listening to her sing my life with her song. And I wasn’t ready, but I didn’t need to be. If there were a way to properly prepare myself for something like that, it would’ve happened long ago. Sometimes, though, we get so caught up in preparation that we don’t allow ourselves to get caught up in the rapture of the moment. In that moment, I felt freedom. And just as soon as she sat to belt out the ballad, she sauntered backstage for another wardrobe change.

 

11:00 pm. The show closed with APESH*T, which I think was extremely fitting given that that’s exactly how we booked it back to the car as to avoid the impending traffic jam out the parking lot. I mean, we had to get to DBGB’s for smoked barbecue wings; nobody had time to play games. Thank you to my friend who blessed with this ticket – you are a true boss ma’am. This show really was the best thing I never had before. I am so glad to say I was here, and I ain’t sorry. Not one bit.- Oldendaze"

 

I'm happy to now welcome my freind into the BeyHive family. If you missed this concert you missed out on watching Black Excellence in real time. Thank you to Parkwood Entertainment for the invite!

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