June 10th was a huge occasion for me. I finally was able to see my biggest inspiration as she performed live, but I also got to cross something off my list of 18 Things To Do Before 18.
My friend and I had both purchased tickets to the concert, so we decided to carpool to Baltimore together. Thankfully, we left an hour and half in advance, so despite sitting in massive amounts of traffic, we still managed to arrive to the stadium on time.
Once we were at the stadium, we were shocked by how crowded it was. We knew that Beyoncé would have no problem selling out a show, but seeing the packed hallways and concession lines in person was a whole new experience. We had to practically fight our way to the booths where they were selling T-Shirts. I nabbed a pretty awesome looking shirt that featured Beyoncé in all of her Formation glory with her middle fingers pointed proudly in the sky.
After tossing my new shirt over my shoulder, my friend and I gave each other a quick hug then parted ways so we could get to our seats. My seat was located towards the side of stage, giving me the perfect view of a few stagehands scrambling around during the beginning of the performance. I also had the privilege of sitting beside a woman who had proudly declared that she attended all of Beyoncé’s shows. She lived in South Carolina, but had decided to fly to Baltimore to see the show because tickets for this show were easier to get than the tickets for the Atlanta show.
I was astounded by her dedication to the Queen. I’m not sure if I would’ve been able to pay $200 for my tickets and then shell out even more money to secure a plane flight.
Beyoncé’s opening act was DJ Khaled. While I wasn’t too enthused to see him on stage, he did play classic records and was able to keep the crowd pretty hype. He also brought big names such as Trey Songz and Wale onto the stage during his performance.
Once DJ Khaled finished delivering his keys of success, he wandered off the stage leaving us to wait another hour before we would be graced with Beyoncé’s presence.
But when our hour was up, the lights dimmed and the huge box like screen on the stage began rotating. Immediately, the stadium was filled with screams and camera flashes. My heart began to pound, and I couldn’t help but bounce up and down as the screen showed a introductory video. But as I watched the video, my heart began to pound for a new reason. My side-seat gave me the perfect view of Beyoncé as she performed her stretches before getting on stage.
I couldn’t help but gape. After years of buying albums, watching her music videos, singing along to recordings of her performances, I was finally seeing her in person. She was real! She existed! And she was in the same room as me!
Her entire performance, I was mystified by the fact that she was able to belt out perfect notes while simultaneously delivering intense choreography and looking like a total goddess. No combination of words could describe the complete sense of awe that the crowd was in or the amount of passion that she brought with her on the stage.
However, I can say that her closing performance was powerful. She stood on a flooded stage, her arms spread wide, her throat bared, and her eyes serenely closed, as her dancers kicked water onto her during her performance of “Freedom”. At the close, the dancers strutted off of the stage, and she sang her closing song, “Halo”. As she sang, I had to lower my phone so that I could be fully present. Hearing those amazing vocals live and watching as she immersed herself in the song was a life changing experience.
Beyoncé is truly an iconic performer. I could understand why people would spend hundreds of dollars to fly across the coast to watch her perform. She brings such an unbelievable amount of passion and energy to the stage; I couldn’t help but feel changed by her performance.