Beyonce and Jay-Z’s co-headlining On the Run II Tour wowed fans with a collaborative show and a scholarship giveaway September 19 at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix.
The vivacious concert included performances both collaboratively and individually from Beyonce and Jay-Z. Songs covered years of material throughout their careers from various albums including Beyonce’s Dangerously in Love, Lemonade and Beyonce to Jay-Z’s 4:44, Watch the Throne and The Blueprint 3.
The State Farm Stadium was packed with fans of all ages and diversity, which speaks to the reach these two performers’ music has on the world. The expansive stage held three large screens with the letters “O,” “T” and “R” on each one and two runways that expanded far out into the audience.
The crowd was restless with energy as they waited in anticipation for the power couple to appear. At approximately 9:15 p.m., the screens came together as one to display a video montage. They then parted and dressed in all white, Beyonce and Jay-Z stepped out hand in hand to start the show off with “Holy Grail.”
After the first performance, Jay-Z welcomes the packed stadium to the On The Run ll Tour and continued with “Part ll (On the Run)” and “‘03 Bonnie & Clyde.”
A few songs in and the two were joined on stage by musicians dressed in red playing a range of instruments from trumpets to guitars and even a tuba. A group of backup dancers join the stage simultaneously dressed in white to match Beyonce’s sparkled costume.
The technicality of the show is an element that puts this concert a step above your presumptions and wants as a concert-goer. Not only is the fierceness that is Queen Bey mixed with the seasoned confidence of Jay-Z more of a show than one could ever dream of, but the added fire shooting up above stage combined with elaborate lighting sequences and a soulful ensemble amplifies expectations of every concert beyond this night.
Suddenly the lights turn purple and Beyonce returned to the stage after a costume change in all shiny black, along with her matching backup dancers. More fire was utilized as she performed “Flawless.” The video camera hovered over the audience and showed clips of those in the crowd dancing and shouting the lyrics of the song from her self-titled album, Beyonce.
As the concert continued, the Carters took turns sharing the stage. The 48-year-old rapper performed hits like “Big Pimpin’” and “Run This Town” solo as his 37-year-old wife returned after repeated costume changes. Attention returned to the jumbo screen from time to time as more of the On The Run II Tour video montage continued with videos of the married couple with their kids, on the beach and running through a dreamy field.
A section of the stage ascended and moved over the crowd as Beyonce and her backup dancers performed “Run the World (Girls).” The song concluded with a message about feminism on the large screen and then Jay-Z had his turn with “Public Service Announcement.”
As brilliant as each artist was individually, it was even more wonderful to watch them perform together with songs like “Baby Boy” and their cover of “Forever Young.” There were times when the two held hands and sang to each other and times when Beyonce strutted down a runway effortlessly belting while Jay-Z rapped his way down the other.
To say the duo exhibited a show of confidence would be an understatement. You may have seen Beyonce on television performing at the Super Bowl or heard an infinite amount of Jay-Z’s music on YouTube through the years, but it is nothing compared to it all live. Beyonce can dance. As well, she can sing, dance and run around all at the same time without the slightest indication that she’s losing oxygen. While it may be hard to hold your own against her, Jay-Z does not disappoint as he sounds just as strong live as he does on his albums.
As the concert came to a close, they performed “APESHIT.” Beyonce and Jay-Z gave shoutouts to every group involved with the show and bid goodnight to Phoenix.
R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle opened the show at 7:30 p.m. as the audience continued to trickle in. Dressed in orange and pink sparkle outfits, the two greeted Phoenix and started the show with their song “Fake.”
The sisters performed on stage left with the incorporation of a guitar and piano to complement their strong voices. Songs ranged from “Grown” to “Hi Lo” as they filled the time with a 30-minute opening act.
At young ages, Chloe, 20, and Halle, 18, had no trouble filling the stadium with their voices. At times the sisters broke away from their instruments for a dance break, which showed their comfort level on the big stage.
They concluded their 30-minute set with “Happy Without Me” and proceeded off stage in high spirits while the crowd waited for the next performer.
On stage right, the screen displayed “We the best music,” as DJ Khaled entered the space. Dressed in a white tee and jeans, DJ Khaled began with “All I Do Is Win” as he jumped around on stage.
Between featured songs such as “Wild Thoughts” to “Finesse” and “God’s Plan,” the DJ made efforts to pump the crowd up for Beyonce and Jay-Z- and it worked. All around, people in the crowd were seen jumping up and down with their hands up screaming whenever DJ Khaled asked if we were ready for the night ahead.
At the conclusion of his set, he opened a note to read. It said someone in the audience would receive a $100,000 scholarship from Beyonce and Jay-Z, compliments of The Shawn Carter Foundation and the BeyGOOD Initiative. This recipient was Mikayla Lowry. As the crowd gave whoops and hollers, DJ Khaled exited the stage as the audience awaited for what was next.
Setlist – Chloe x Halle
The Kids Are Alright
Happy Without Me
Setlist DJ Khaled
Setlist – Beyonce & Jay-Z
Part II (On the Run)
’03 Bonnie & Clyde
Drunk in Love
Dirt Off Your Shoulder
On to the Next One
Run This Town
Mi Gente (Remix)
Ring the Alarm
Don’t Hurt Yourself
Niggas in Paris
Beach Is Better
Run the World (Girls)
Public Service Announcement
The Story of O.J.
Show Me What You Got
Crazy in Love
U Don’t Know