Published Jul 22, 2013Less than a week after her husband graced the stage in Toronto alongside Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé took over the Air Canada Centre on her Mrs. Carter Show world tour. But from the get go, it was clear that this show wasn't about Jay Z.
Before she even took the stage, Beyoncé was everywhere, with commercial spots for Pepsi, H&M and Goodwill featuring the singer projected on every screen in the building. But the real entertainment started when the black "B"-emblazoned curtain dropped. An elaborate video intro to Queen Bey sent anticipation through the roof, and when she launched into "Run the World (Girls)," the place went nuts.
The girl power theme stuck throughout the night, as Beyoncé was backed by an all-female band and gaggle of dancers — she later revealed the only men on the tour were the impressive Les Twins who sent the crowd into multiple frenzies with their unbelievable (like, actually difficult to believe that people can make their body do what these guys were doing) moves.
During "Flaws & All," Beyoncé expressed her gratitude to the fans, and though it came off as a bit contrived for the stage, there were moments throughout the night where she singled out fans in the crowd and even donned a crown that an audience member gave her at one point, proving that Beyoncé is in fact a real, live human being that still appreciates fan adoration and not just the best-looking robot ever.
In a set that ran like a greatest hits, Bey delivered with phenomenal vocals, powerful dancing and a genuine charm that almost seemed surprising coming from one of the world's most famous women. "If I Were a Boy" was really the only track that suffered from a revamped live version, losing some of the understated sadness of the original in favour of louder, punchier backing music.
But everything else worked, from "I Care" to a Dirty South-inspired rendition of "Single Ladies" to "Crazy in Love." The highlight of the set had to be the segment of the show that kicked off with "1+1," though. Donning an impossibly glittery one-piece, Beyonce lay atop the piano and flawlessly belted the ballad. This was followed by the singer's flight across the stadium to a second stage, where she had everyone singing every word to "Irreplaceable." Then "Love On Top." Then Destiny's Child's "Survivor." It was perfect.
Closer "Halo" was prefaced with a gorgeous rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" — a touching moment that showed just how well Beyonce can really sing. But it was "Halo" that stands out in memory. Despite the depressing realization that it was her last song, it was an absolutely beautiful ending to a fantastic blockbuster concert.