The screams were deafening. More than 70,000 people leaped onto their feet as the stadium suddenly became pitch black, a sure sign that the queen and the rap legend would be on stage any minute.
A massive screen serving as the background of the stage came alive with the words: “This is real life” and “On The Run II” followed by a short film depicting vintage-looking shots of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s whirlwind love story.
Finally, the wait was over. With photos of them holding their 1-year-old twins, Rumi and Sur, along with the words “Everything is Love” (the title of their most recent joint album) as their backdrop, Beyoncé and Jay Z were lowered onto the stage, on a platform, holding hands.
The crowd went wild as two of the biggest icons in music stepped onto the SDCCU Stadium stage, Beyoncé, wearing a glittery silver and white bodysuit, and Jay Z, sporting an all-white suit with a large gold chain.
They jumped right into some of their biggest hits, including classics “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Upgrade U,” “Crazy in Love,” “Baby Boy” and more. During each of Beyoncé’s many outfit changes, Jay Z performed a few of his biggest numbers like “The Story of O.J.,” “99 Problems,” “Run This Town” and “Clique.”
“Both of them are such creative icons, and the level of artistry, inspiration and grace they display while putting on a show that their audiences will never forget is incredible,” said senior PLNU student Kristiana Gingras, who attended the concert. “Seeing Beyoncé live, someone who I look up to and who has given a voice to so many, was an absolute dream come true.”
More scenes of the artists, their children and their otherwise extremely private lives were portrayed on the screen intermittently between performances of “Drunk in Love,” “Nice,” “Freedom,” “Sorry” and “Formation” (the latter three from Beyoncé’s highly-acclaimed album “Lemonade”).
Midway through the performance, Beyoncé sat on a stool at the edge of the stage, her voluminous orange dress spread out all around her, and sang “Resentment,” an emotional song detailing her experiences in dealing with and forgiving her husband’s affair.
Their openness and transparency wasn’t the only notable aspect of the night: Throughout the performance, the two sang about and referenced feminism, Black power, marriage equality, gender equality and more.
Beyoncé’s outspoken leadership as a self-proclaimed feminist and activist, and her ability to be a role model to so many girls and women everywhere, paired with Jay Z’s unapologetic support of civil rights and the equality of Black people make for a duo that is not only unstoppable in the music industry, but in today’s social climate, as well.
These two icons are masters of their craft as well as pioneers of a new wave of feminism, activism and love and equality for all. This wasn’t just a concert; it was a once in a lifetime experience.