I realise most reviews are well structured critiques tinged with clever comparisons and a general overview of the performance. For one night only I am taking off my serious reporter’s hat (I’ll leave that one to my colleague Michael MacLennan) to try and convey the magic of Beyoncé’s performance at T in the Park, from a mesmerised fan’s point of view. Yes, this is my Lauren Laverne moment...
I have attended and worked at T for more years than I care to remember and every year there has been a stand out performance – that one little nugget of magic which sums up the feeling of the fest: The Killers, Blur, Lady Gaga, but none quite so captivating as Beyoncé Knowles’ 2011 Saturday night T in the Park set.
I expected something special after catching her Glastonbury spectacular on the BBC a few weeks back. In fact, as I was at a wedding yesterday, I was going to have a sabbatical from the fields of Balado this year, but after seeing Miss Fierce shimmy and shake her way through the rousing performance on the Pyramid stage, I knew this was something I couldn’t miss seeing in the flesh.
Afforded the opportunity to watch the show from the pit at the front of the stage, I witnessed the dynamic diva in all her glory.
Gracing the stage in a revealing, black, sequin encrusted dress, teamed with killer sparkly heels, Queen B (and that magnificent mane) had the entire audience eating out the palm of her perfectly manicured hand.
While men drooled at her bootylicious motions, women were equally captivated by her presence, posterior and powerful soul voice.
Kicking off with Crazy In Love, the excited crowd were just that. Throwing their hands in the air to do the now iconic Single Ladiesdance – the one my boyfriend knows all too well as I insist on thrusting my ring free hand in front of his face on many a drunken night out – Beyoncé smiled as she lapped up the love from her adoring crowd.
She continued to work her way through her impressive back catalogue of hits and cleverly choreographed routines, never out of breath, accompanied by a fantastic all female band and backing singers The Mamas. Forget the Spice Girls, this took Girl Power to a whole new level.
Highlights came when the 29 year old delivered a sultry rendition of Kings of Leon’s hit Sex On Fire and when she transported the crowd back a few years to the Destiny’s Child days.
A snippet of her duet with Lady Gaga, Telephone, was met with screams of delight as was her moving rendition of Etta James’ At Last.
While Beyoncé herself looked totally in awe of the Scottish reception, many of the crowd were overcome with the emotion of her performance – something which was visible when the star came down to the front of the crowd to touch hands with her fans.
Like those legendary clips of screaming girls with tears streaming down their chubby cheeks as the Beatles performed in the sixties, Beyoncé had the same effect on many of the T revellers, with their damp faces splashed across the big screens for all to see. Luckily I was just too far back for the cameras to capture any stray tears that appeared in the corner of my eye when she launched into final song of the night, Halo.
For those hoping for something a little different from the Glastonbury show, there may have been an air of disappointment, but as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Beyoncé’s hour long set was everything you want from a festival performance: hit after hit of crowd pleasing tracks, the perfect amount of audience interaction (to the left to the left) and a singer who looks like they are truly relishing every moment of being on the stage. Wonder what Zane Lowe will make of tonight’s performance?