Recently I was in Minneapolis for almost week, first speaking at WordCamp Minneapolis and then delivering a hands-on branding workshop at Prestige Conference, and I was lucky enough to have my friend Chris Lema there with me for the entire trip, as he was also speaking at WordCamp — and while there, we went to the Minneapolis stop of the Beyoncé Formation World Tour. Badass right?!
But let me back up a minute and explain. We didn’t even know this concert was happening. Seriously, we had no idea Beyoncé was also in Minneapolis at the same time until the day before the concert.
We had arrived at the WordCamp Minneapolis Sunday morning brunch and it was packed. There were almost no seats available and the line for food was wrapped around the entire room, so we ended up snagging two seats at a table in the far corner with people who were not at all interested in talking to us. Finally Katie Elenberger, a designer from Fargo, sat down next to us and we immediately hit it off. She was funny, welcoming, and friendly — and near the end of brunch, she mentioned that she was staying in town another day for the Beyoncé concert.
SAY WHAT?! We grilled Katie for the details. The concert was happening on Monday night, the day between the two events and all we could think was, “How on Earth did we not know about this?” Chris jumped on his phone right away and before I knew it, had bought us tickets to the show — and not just any tickets… he bought awesome floor seats!
We were actually going to see Queen Bey live in person! Squee!
The one downside was that the weather took a big turn for the worse on Monday, so Chris and I hit Target to pick up some rain ponchos before meeting up with Katie and her sister for dinner before the concert — and thank goodness we did! It started to rain before Beyoncé took the stage and the entire TCF Bank Stadium became a dotted rainbow of colored ponchos. At least it did, until they evacuated the stadium to due to thunderstorms and lightning. We were herded off the floor of the stadium inside and heavy metal doors came down over every doorway locking us in. People were packed in and every wall was lined with fans sitting and waiting in anticipation. As the minutes ticked away, the air got stale and stuffy and it got really hot.
The whole experience was eerie and weird — this never happens in California.
Beyoncé Takes The Stage
Beyoncé is the first female to headline a stadium show in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area and you could tell that fans were excited! The people watching was incredible as fans poured into the stadium. The Beyhive came out in full force dressed in costume, dressed to the nines, and dressed in very little. Hair and makeup across the board were fierce, high heels reigned, side-boob and under-butt were visible at every turn, and I was seriously impressed with the confidence of those who proudly wore only bras or underwear and sheer skirts.
Soon the monolith lit up and the music started, video was playing across the giant screen and a group of figures dressed in black appeared. Everyone was looking for Beyoncé. Soon she took the stage and was surrounded by all female dancers, performing Formation, and the entire stadium went absolutely crazy. The entire stage then erupted in red lights and fireworks as she performed Sorry, Kitty Kat, Bow Down and Run the World (Girls).
For Countdown, Beyoncé and her dancers perform and walk down a catwalk leading to the middle of the crowd. Then between sets and costume changes, video clips from Lemonade were projected onto the enormous LED cube and as well as aerial dancers performed in the center.
Two tributes to Prince were included in the concert:
- In the first, Beyoncé performs a rendition of The Beautiful Ones.
- In the second, the Monolith turned solid purple as an original recording of Purple Rain was played.
The final chapter of the concert took place on the secondary stage in a 2,000 gallon pool of water, where Beyoncé and her dancers perform and splash to Freedom, Survivor, and End of Time with fireworks exploding overhead. Then for the show’s final number, the dancers leave the stage and Beyoncé drops to her knees to begin Halo.
The energy. The commitment. The choreography. Her voice. It was incredible — and I got to share the experience with a great friend!
Beyoncé was fierce, raw, unapologetic, vulnerable. The show, depicting topics of infidelity, anger, forgiveness and black womanhood, was deeply personal and featured home movies and photos. While watching the show, it feels like her carefully sculpted professional appearance is being broken down and the real Beyoncé is stepping forward — and she’s got something to say.
Beyoncé Formation World Tour
The Formation World Tour, named for her 2016 song Formation, is Beyoncé’s seventh concert tour. Supporting her sixth studio album, Lemonade, the tour started on April 27, 2016 in Miami, Florida and concludes on October 2, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Formation World Tour stage is dominated by a gigantic, 60 foot tall, rotating, LED box called the Monolith that displays video and imagery on all four sides. Throughout the concert, the Monolith rotates in a full circle several times, with each rotation signifying a new chapter of the Lemonade album’s story. During the show, it also splits apart in the center several times, revealing Cirque Du Soleil style performers, fireworks, and Queen Bey herself.
The stage also featured a treadmill-style runway and a secondary stage out in the audience. Late in the show, the top of the secondary stage disappeared revealing a shallow pool of water that Beyoncé and her dancers then perform in. That stage stores 2,000 gallons of water inside of it and takes approximately 10 minutes to fill up, which occurs without the audience even realizing it.
Beyoncé Concert Setlist, Minneapolis, 05/23/1026
Held at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Sorry (with samples of I’m So Sorry)
- Kitty Kat (acapella snippet, with a snippet of Sorry)
- Bow Down (with samples of Tom Ford and ***Flawless)
- Run the World (Girls)
- Baby Boy (with samples of Standing on the Sun)
- Hold Up
- Countdown (with samples of Pop My Trunk)
- Me, Myself and I
- Runnin’ (Lose It All) (Naughty Boy cover)
- All Night
- Don’t Hurt Yourself (with samples of Freakum Dress)
- Ring the Alarm (with samples of Don’t Hurt… more )
- ***Flawless (Remix)
- Feeling Myself (Nicki Minaj cover)
- Drunk in Love (with samples of Swimming Pools (Drank))
- Rocket (with samples of Untitled (How Does it Feel))
- Daddy Lessons
- The Beautiful Ones (Prince cover)
- Love on Top (Acapella)
- Purple Rain (Prince song)
- Crazy in Love (with samples of Bootylicious)
- Naughty Girl (with samples of I Love to Love You Baby)
- Party (with samples of La Di Da Di)
- Blow (with samples of Nasty Girl)
- Survivor (Destiny’s Child song)
- End of Time (with samples of Grown Woman)