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Review: Beyonce Shines During Rain-Soaked Final Night At Roseland Ballroom

“I feel it. Tonight’s going to be magical,” said Beyonce.

Sure, when Beyonce, a vision in a sparkly gold dress designed by her mom, Tina Knowles, appeared on stage at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City for her final concert in her four-night stint at approximately 10pm — two hours later than the start time the ticket for the event touted — it was surely safe to assume some magic would happen. But it sure as hell didn’t start that way for fans who began lining up for the concert hours earlier.

A thunder storm rolled in just after 7pm, soaking many of the fans who expected clear skies — and who expected to be let into the venue at the top of the hour. As thunder boomed and lightning crackled, fans began to panic; they abandoned the orderly line they formed and began breaking through barricades and running — and screaming, loudly! —  down the street to the entrance of Roseland. It looked like a scene pulled straight from James Cameron‘s Titanic film.

The NYPD were called in to control the angered crowd, who wondered why they weren’t being let into the venue, even as the rain continued to pound down. The cops’ plan only led to even more confusion — officers at the front of the venue told fans to cross the street to form a new line; officers across the street had no clue where the new line began. As the chaos and confusion continued to play out, Roseland staff and police threatened to cancel the show if order wasn’t restored.

The line calmed some, and, of course, the show did go on despite the nightmarish start. And if anyone could make up for the disastrous, unorganized chaos, it’s Beyonce. She put on a show so brilliant, it made many forget about their ruined hair-dos and the water sloshing around in their shoes.

With her fabulous, full-figured background singers and her all-female band backing her, Beyonce began the show with a trip down memory lane that chronicled her pre-diva status rise (singing the Jackson 5‘s “I Wanna Be Where You Are” as a kid, getting signed to a record deal, getting dropped, losing on Star Search, and getting signed again).

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Then there were the Destiny’s Child years. Girl power-championing hits like “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women,” and “Survivor” played out in bite-sized snippets with a quick shout out to DC members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, both of whom B admitted she “wouldn’t be here without.” (Take notes on respecting where you come from, Justin Timberlake.)

Solo star Beyonce took shape again as B ran down a quick medley of her hits from her solo albums, finding love with Jay-Z and recording their first song together, “’03 Bonnie and Clyde,” making movies, and performing Etta James‘ “At Last” at President Barack Obama‘s inauguration, a moment she said was fate because her birthday is September 4, the president’s birthday is August 4, he’s the 44th president, her husband’s birthday is December 4, and on April 4, Jay “put a ring on it!” Cue all the hand-clapping, foot-stomping, “Girl, that’s my SONG”-ing excitement that is “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).”

“What do you do after winning 16 Grammys? Anything that makes you happy,” Beyonce shared with the crowd. For her, that was traveling the world and pouring those experiences into her most creative, her most heartfelt, and her best album yet, 4, which she performed almost in its entirety (she left out “Start Over”).

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From the yearning “1+1,” which she performed perched atop a white piano, to the dramatic, Chi-lites-inspired “Rather Die Young,” the bouncy “Love On Top,” the showstopper dedicated to the one she loves “Countdown,” the magnificent choreography of “End Of Time” and “Run The World (Girls),”  and the soul-stirring closer about leaving a lasting legacy, “I Was Here,” Beyonce wowed everyone at Roseland with her powerful vocals, domineering confidence, and unmatched showmanship.

At the end of the concert, Beyonce confirmed that it was being taped for a DVD. Sure, those fans who buy the DVD will feel lucky that they get to see the concert without having to drip rain instead of Swagu, a term Kanye West so eloquently coined in one of the night’s biggest rockers, “Party,” but nothing compares to seeing Beyonce live in the flesh. It truly is magical.

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  1. Truly magical is absolutely right! She’s the only person that can wipe my mind from extreme chaos and “hell on earth” to pure love, amazement and enjoyment! Still sucks that the whole experience was slightly tainted but nonetheless she put on one great show! B Stan4life! Lol

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