Beyonce, Jay-Z, On The Run II: What the reviewers are saying

You’ve heard the hype, but is it to be believed? Is the Beyonce, Jay-Z On The Run II concert really THAT good?

We’ve taken a look at the reviews of recent stops on the tour. Here’s what they’re saying...

June 6: Cardiff, Wales: Principality Stadium (first European date)

Rachel Aroesti, of The Guardian, London, writes of this very first stop on the On The Run II tour that the couple’s relationship has been complicated over the years and that it plays out on stage.

“Which is not to say the show that services this message isn’t staggeringly impressive. The Beyoncé-mania that has gripped pop culture in recent years isn’t just poptimism gone mad: this is a woman who matches increasingly sophisticated and trailblazing material with once-in-a-generation onstage charisma. Her swagger is such that it can feel like the power dynamic between the two performers has been upended – once the sidekick, nowadays she’s the one taking her rapper husband for a ride as he hitches his wagon to her staggering cultural capital.”

June 15: London, England: London Stadium

Tom Rasmussen, of Independent, said of the experience that it was “one for the history books.”

At London Stadium, around 56,000 attended the concert but Rasmussen wrote “But last night these two icons achieved something I had never seen at a stadium show before: mass collectivity. In this, the age of political and social disunity, the power of these icons squared is one which transported a whole crowd to another place, another temporality: one filled with power, and joy, and love, and brilliant black talent. While it definitely was, it didn’t feel like the Beyonce or Jay-Z show. Instead it was an ode to the love of each other — not in a saccharine or smug way though, but, with clever use of imagery and song, in a way which showed us why we need to love each other, and what has happened when we don’t.”

July 25: Cleveland: FirstEnergy Stadium (first North American date)

The staff of WKYC-3, Cleveland, OH, reviewed the concert, noting that the couple have choreographed a show that takes you through the history of their relationship. The combination of new music and nostalgia creates “an effective crowdpleaser.”

Of Beyonce and Jay-Z, they write:

“The two are clearly in love and clearly on the run, to no one’s surprise. Scenes show them embracing on a beach, fighting, running and standing linked in handcuffs. Meanwhile on stage, the pair performed crowd-pleasers like “99 Problems” and “Formation,” as well as songs from Everything Is Love.

...The couple on screen maintains the story of resilience as photos from their private life, with daughter Blue Ivy, are displayed. In the end, Beyoncé on screen is seen wearing a wedding dress and the couple appears in a church at the altar.”

August 10: Chicago: Soldier Field

Writing for the Sun-Times, Selena Fragassi says that the concert in early August was a chance to celebrate black culture and black feminism, noting that — in addition to the large dance crew — the backing band featured a female solo guitarist and entirely female horn section.

Fragassi describes the concert itself as a kind of call and response between Jay-Z and Beyonce:

“When they weren’t collaborating on numbers, Beyonce and Jay-Z took turns delivering snapshots of their solo hits, all of it adding up to 43 songs carefully curated to evolve like a heated conversation. After the male bravado of “99 Problems,” you could ostensibly feel the anger as Beyonce clapped back with “Ring The Alarm.” When Jay-Z wrapped up his guilt omission in “Family Feud,” Beyonce scoffed with “Upgrade U.” And as Jay-Z says on “4:44,” this still feels like “healing in real time,” you have to wonder just how awkward it is for him to be chastised night after night until the tour wraps in October.”

The writer also cautions concert goers to remember the clear bag policy in place at many venues — Williams-Brice included — that caused a back-up of over an hour for hundreds of ticket holders trying to enter the venue. “Patrons were tossing bags into bushes hoping they’d be there on the way out from the can’t-miss concert event.”

If you’re making a last-minute decision to attend Tuesday’s concert at Williams-Brice, here are some things you need to know:

• there are some seats left in the upper corners of the stadium in the $115 to $325 range via Ticketmaster.

• expect to be stuck in traffic. It’s a Tuesday evening and local businesses are still operating.

• remember the clear bag policy and leave anything that you don’t need at home.