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Review: Beyoncé reinvigorates Huntington Bank Stadium with stunning “Renaissance” tour

The R&B mega-star delivered a jaw-dropping vocal performance complemented by cutting-edge visuals.
Image by Ethan Lambert
Beyoncé performing on July 20, 2203 atop a reflective, metallic horse – bringing the Renaissance album cover to life.

Beyoncé brought live music back to Huntington Bank Stadium after a long drought of concerts at the venue. 

The University of Minnesota used to host a homecoming concert every year at Huntington Bank Stadium, but since Megan Thee Stallion canceled her appearance at the stadium in 2019, the University has opted for free homecoming concerts with much smaller artists. The lack of big-name artists coming to the University campus has been disappointing but, hopefully, Beyoncé’s return to the stadium will lead to more high-profile concerts at Huntington Bank Stadium soon.

Beyoncé last played at the stadium in 2016 during “The Formation World Tour” in support of her blockbuster 2016 album “Lemonade.” Seven years later she is celebrating her seventh studio album, “Renaissance” — a sonically dark and moody, house-influenced album that graced the ears of pop-heads last summer.

Beyoncé opened her set quietly, with her Destiny’s Child-era ballad “Dangerously In Love.” It was an interesting pick, considering the palpable excitement and energy in Huntington Bank Stadium before the superstar took the stage, but the audience voraciously ate it up despite its slow tempo — it is a fan favorite. 

Amidst the myriad qualities that make her an incredible artist, Beyoncé’s jaw-dropping vocal performance stood out with the opening song. Beginning her set with strong vocals established her skills as a singer before moving into more experimental artistic territory later in the set.

Several songs into the show, Beyoncé left the stage for an outfit change as the large displays on stage displayed visuals signaling the arrival of the “Renaissance” album material to the setlist. The tour visuals featured mechanical, futuristic and almost alien imagery of the singer being absorbed into a world of shining chrome and silver

From this point onward, Beyoncé continued to prove she is more than just a pop singer: she is an artist that cares deeply about her craft, and the tour visuals reflect that.

The opening sample to “I’M THAT GIRL,” the first song on “Renaissance,” was teased over the speakers, and the crowd was ready for the danceable material from that album to finally come to life. Following the order of the album, Beyoncé brought attitude as she performed the rhythmic and self-confident second track “COZY.”

The props were an extension of the futuristic on-stage visuals shown immediately before this part of the setlist, with Beyoncé performing between two metal picture frames operated by robots. The stage props are some of the most unique and innovative that have been seen on a stadium tour in quite some time,  outshining — for example — Taylor Swift’s “Eras” Tour in that regard. 

Immediately after was “ALIEN SUPERSTAR,” a highly choreographed performance featuring the singer with a legion of backup dancers that would get even more time to shine later on in the show.

About halfway through the show came her iconic 2016 single “Formation,” with the dissonant and echoey string plucks ushering some of the biggest crowd cheers and screams of the entire night. The highly choreographed and stylized performance was a highlight of the night. After “Formation,” Beyoncé performed one of the most ferocious and powerful tracks, “Diva,” from her 2008 LP “I Am… Sasha Fierce.” With lyrics reinforcing a message of female empowerment heard on many of her biggest songs — “Diva is a female version of a hustla” — the track holds up over 15 years later as one of the strongest tracks in her catalog.

Amongst a total of 14 songs performed live off “Renaissance,” Beyoncé brought the album’s iconography to life by appearing on stage atop the album cover’s iconic silver horse as she delivered the upbeat dance track “Summer Renaissance.”

Beyoncé’s “Renaissance World Tour” sets a new standard for what a pop artist’s stadium tour should be, with its innovative and avant-garde stage visuals, incredible, high-energy choreography, and otherworldly vocals from Queen Bey herself.

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