After nearly seven years to the day, Beyoncè returned to St. Louis Monday night (August 21) at The Dome at America’s Center. The Renaissance World Tour (RWT) began late spring in Stockholm, Sweden in support of her seventh solo album, Renaissance. You’d be hard-pressed to find a tour with more anticipation built than this one (despite what the Swifties might say). Much of the hype is rooted in the lack of promotional content she gave her audience following the album’s release. She left the listeners with no option but to use their imagination. An ideology that’s repeated during the show.
Full disclosure, I am a proud senior-level card-carrying member of the Beyhive but I will do my best to limit my biases. I’ve seen Beyoncè live on tour going back to Destiny’s Child in 2001 and in multiple cities and environments since. I think those facts give me a somewhat unique perspective as I am able to recognize the growth or lack thereof when applicable between eras.
There’s no way I could start anywhere but with the first thing you see when you enter the stadium, the SCREEN! Beyoncé is no stranger to a great monitor for the fans to see from a distance. The dedication to that part of the production specifically sets her shows apart from most other tours. Even other shows I’ve seen this year can’t come close to the value it adds. She doesn’t just use the screen as a relay of the performance, it’s part of the performance. The show is shot and produced on the fly much like an HBO special that has gone through post-production but they are doing it every night. The screen for RWT felt like a drive-in movie and I’m sure that was intentional in keeping with the retro theme of this era. The only drawback for this setup from previous ones is that it didn’t allow a good view from the deep side view seats because it’s flush and in previous shows, those angles were covered.
St. Louis RWT 2023 Fashion
You cannot discuss this tour without talking about fashion. Tina Knowles, Beyoncè’s mother, has described the show as a live fashion show. She isn’t wrong. Throughout the summer her fashions during the shows have been just as much part of the conversation as the performances. A city like St.Louis is typically not a show where any extra treats are expected. Certainly not on a Monday, but you never know what Beyoncè will do. We saw several new looks that night. Most shows today treat the stage outfits as afterthoughts. In a Beyoncè show, it’s as important as the guitarists. She effortlessly tips between independent designers and legendary large fashion houses, all complimented by Tiffany & Co. accessories (including bejeweled ears).
The fashion show was not limited to Beyoncè or her crew. The show is already the highlight event of the summer but the tour starting in Europe allowed the Beyhive stateside to learn the themes and cater wardrobes to align with it. As the tour progressed, the preparations for the show, its outfits and the revealing of them became an internet phenomenon of its own. Fans worldwide have been creating UNIQUE costumes in hopes of being noticed by the Queen or at least making the website recap photo gallery. Every show we’ve seen the crowds up the ante and St. Louis was no exception.
Blue Ivy in St. Louis
Speaking of phenomenon, I will be the first to say that I thought there was no way the biggest internet sensation of the tour would happen in St. Louis but I am glad I was wrong. Not in a million years would I have bet money on Blue Ivy Carter making an appearance for our date. Certainly not on a Monday night, at the beginning of the school year. But there she was and the crowd loved it. Princess Carter has been viral in her own right since surprising fans when she debuted in Paris. Her performances have garnered her a fan base of her own, The Ivy League. To be fair, I don’t think she went as hard on our night as I’ve seen in some other cities via Twitter/X & Tiktok. But we take what we can get.
“Love on Top” Challenge #loveontopchallenge
For weeks every market has been campaigning for their crowd to follow directions and MUTE. St. Louis did mute but not long enough, so we failed the challenge horribly. We were however crowned the longest-running crowd choir for “Love On Top”. Not all heroes wear capes.
Overall, this show doesn’t beat her last one, Formation World Tour. Much of my personal experience was marred by the crowd around me. The biggest part of Beyoncè shows, and probably concerts in general is the sense of community and the energy it creates. I was upgraded to the floor in order to cover the event for this article but unfortunately, that section was dead. As a real fan, I was often confused by how unmoved the people around me were and it made the space feel less safe for me to enjoy the vibes. Also, because of the location of the seat, much of my view still relied on the screen because the staging & other attendees obscured the view to the middle Club Renaissance stage area. Had I kept my Sec 130 ticket just off the floor I originally had, I am sure my experience would have been more favorable. Luckily for me, I have the opportunity for a redux in a few weeks when I see the show in Vancouver, BC. Other people who I know that have seen this and other shows have called it her best but that was not how it went for me. Maybe I will edit this post on Sept 12. Maybe not. Find out next time on K goes to concerts! 🙂
- [DELUX Music] St. Louis Put Their Beyoncè ‘Love On Top’ at The Dome - Friday, August 25, 2023
- It’s Our Anniversary: St. Louis Surge and America Hit a Milestone - Wednesday, June 22, 2022
- Nappy Nando!: The Road to WisNANsin - Monday, April 25, 2022