Beyonce lays claim to the throne at SoFi Stadium

The Renaissance has reached Los Angeles.

Four months after it launched in Europe and immediately took over social media, Beyoncé’s blockbuster Renaissance world tour begins a sold-out, three-night stand at Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium on Friday. The pop superstar’s first solo outing since the Formation tour in 2016, Beyoncé’s latest live spectacle comes behind last year’s “Renaissance” album, her loving and meticulous ode to the Black and queer pioneers of half a century’s worth of dance music.

Reports from the road promise a high-tech, costume-heavy 2½-hour show in which the singer — after warming up with a series of R&B ballads — performs the songs from “Renaissance” in order with older tunes and covers interspersed among them. Close followers of the tour on TikTok also know to look out for onstage appearances by Beyoncé’s 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, and for the so-called mute challenge, in which the crowd is supposed to go silent at a particular point in the song “Energy.” (Another recurring feature: Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z, who’s been spotted in the audience at more than a few gigs alongside the likes of Paul McCartney, Frank Ocean, Lizzo, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa and Megan Thee Stallion.)

The SoFi dates, which come as the tour enters its final weeks — and as its gross proceeds approach a half-billion dollars, according to Billboard — could prove especially splashy: Ahead of her 42nd birthday on Monday, Beyoncé has asked concertgoers to wear their “most fabulous silver fashions” to celebrate “Virgo season together in the house of chrome.”

The Times’ Mikael Wood and August Brown are at SoFi for opening night and will provide live updates from the show as it happens.

7:15 p.m. Greetings from the (very) early shift at SoFi, where CeCe Peniston is pumping on the sound system and everyone seems to have obeyed Bey’s command to wear silver in honor of her triumphant Virgo season. I heard war stories of hours-long traffic jams for Taylor Swift’s Eras shows, so I took Metro to the stadium, which was relatively smooth sailing on the 212 bus. So far, the mood is pretty composed, but once all those fans’ tequila shots from the street vendors kick in (will we get “Drunk in Love” on this stop?), it’ll ramp up in short order. — August Brown

7:55 p.m. There’s no formal opener on the Renaissance tour, but there is a warm-up act for the Club Renaissance portion of the show: DJ Khaled, who made an extremely loud entrance with “All I Do Is Win.” Nice to see a guy so used to yelling his own name take a more humble billing. — A.B.

8:02 p.m. Can confirm the parking for Renaissance is just as nightmarish as the parking for Eras was! But traffic is far too boring a subject to dwell on as I walk into SoFi amid the beautifully silver-bedecked masses. Between recent gigs by Taylor, Morgan Wallen and Metallica, I feel like I’ve spent as much time in this building this summer as I have anywhere else in L.A. But no other fans can come close to matching the outfits on display tonight. — Mikael Wood

8:14 p.m. DJ Khaled brought a friend with him: 2 Chainz, who just popped out to do his songs “Watch Out” and “I’m Different” and to tell anyone with a birthday that we are most definitely celebrating tonight. Wonder if this cameo portends a special guest or two during Beyoncé’s set… — M.W.

8:22 p.m. As Khaled would say, ANOTHER ONE: Now Wiz Khalifa’s here, zipping through “Young, Wild & Free” and “See You Again.” (Alas, no Charlie Puth.) — M.W.

8:28 p.m. We’re still in the pregame portion, but now it’s local hero Roddy Ricch doing “The Box.” If you’re a rapper with a night off in L.A. and you’re not up here, it might be personal. — A.B.

8:30 p.m. Best silver outfits glimpsed so far: a guy in a glittery mariachi suit, a lady dressed as an alien superstar and a dude in full chain mail. — M.W.

8:36 p.m. When was the last time you listened to “Bad and Boujee”? If you’re at the Beyoncé show, you’re hearing it now: Offset just dropped in to rap the 2016 Migos hit with DJ Khaled. What a song. — M.W.

8:41 p.m. Lil Wayne just rolled up in a bucket hat and giant shorts like a true Zoomer. He was having some mic trouble and didn’t quite get off a full verse before departing. Still, it’s a great Bey bait and switch — why have one opener when you can have everyone open? — A.B.

8:42 p.m. This cavalcade of stars feels almost vulgar in its over-the-topness. Makes you proud to be an Angeleno. — M.W.

8:44 p.m. They’re tearing down Khaled’s rig. Countdown to Renaissance begins now. — A.B.

8:53 p.m. The lights have dimmed and we are approaching Bey o’clock. — M.W.

9:00 p.m. And … it’s Beyoncé, in ballad mode out of the gate. She’s starting with “Dangerously in Love 2” with an all-silver backing band on a tall riser. No insane outfits, no fireworks, just a statement of intent that this is going to be a long ride, so get cozy. — A.B.

9:01 p.m. Man, can Beyoncé sing. I love the flex of opening the show with a vocal showcase like this. It’s like she’s saying: Yes, we’re gonna have a great time tonight, but first let me remind you of what I learned to do before you had any idea who I was. — M.W.

9:03 p.m. “Flaws and All” is next up. “I’m a train wreck in the morning,” she sings, absolutely perfectly, obviously. We knew this going in, but I love that this show starts on a very slow simmer before the rave. — A.B.

9:04 p.m. Two songs in and this band is cooking. — M.W.

9:07 p.m. Shout-out to Bey’s very pregnant trumpet player in a cropped top! — A.B.

9:10 p.m. Beyoncé has taken her seat atop a grand piano and is singing the ever-loving stuffing out of “1+1.” The riffs. The runs. The mic control! Truly a master. — M.W.

9:17 p.m. It’s easy to admire Beyoncé’s pace-setting fashion in a magazine shoot or music video, but wow, Shiona Turini and crew really saw this through down to the last stitch. We’ve barely even started, but it’s a whole new tier of care into these chrome and gold get-ups. — A.B.

9:19 p.m. Bey dedicates a slow roll through “River Deep, Mountain High” to the late Tina Turner, whom she calls “one of my biggest inspirations.” — M.W.

9:22 p.m. The ballads are finished; the club awaits. — M.W.

Beyoncé at SoFi Stadium

Beyoncé at SoFi Stadium.

(Kevin Mazur / WireImage for Parkwood)

9:28 p.m. There’s a big camera rig on wires circling the stage and crowd; looks like the rumors of a concert doc being filmed may have some legs. — A.B.

9:30 p.m. The “Renaissance” portion of the evening opens with the album’s opener, “I’m That Girl,” and the way Beyoncé is toying with the song’s rhythms — stretching, shortening — let’s you know we’re in for a workout. — M.W.

9:31 p.m. Bey is in a resplendent Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini pink coat that could protect one from the most fabulous winter storm. — A.B.

9:33 p.m. “Cozy” — what a wonderfully insane word to build a song around. — M.W.

9:35 p.m. Different kind of physical performance from Bey on this tour. She’s a magnificent dancer, one of the best in music, but she’s also not afraid to pout and roll around on a pile of mattresses and let her crew contort. She’s having a blast. — A.B.

9:36 p.m. Something the endless TikToks from the Renaissance tour don’t prepare you for is how delightfully campy the I-woke-up-like-this sequence from “Alien Superstar” is. A+ comedy. — M.W.

9:37 p.m. “Alien Superstar”: It’s the “Sailor Moon” meme IRL! — A.B.

9:42 p.m. Here come Les Twins, the dancing French brothers who lend an uncanny, ultra-athletic sidecar to Bey’s main course. — A.B.

9:54 p.m. Now we’re into “Cuff It” with the full band, and it’s all slap bass and hot-pink corsets and exuberant ‘70s vibes. She’s brought out a killer horn section, wearing P-Funk space suits. — A.B.

9:55 p.m. Very moved by the deep musician-liness of this show. “I’m a seasoned professional,” she sings in “Cuff It,” and how many pop superstars are out here emphasizing their onstage experience? — M.W.

Beyoncé and dancers at SoFi Stadium.

Beyoncé and dancers at SoFi Stadium.

(Kevin Mazur / WireImage for Parkwood)

9:56 p.m. She just hit the big “Everybody on Mute” moment of “Energy,” and you better believe no one dared move or made a sound. Pretty cool to hear absolute silence in a packed stadium. — A.B.

9:58 p.m. Seems too depressing to get into right now, but we should probably think about how “Break My Soul” — with its screw-the-paymasters message — softened the ground for “Rich Men North of Richmond.” 🙁 — M.W.

10:07 p.m. Sorry, Bob Dylan: Let’s take a minute here to commend what has to be history’s largest gaucho hat on Beyoncé’s head as she starts “Formation.” — M.W.

10:08 p.m. Hope everyone took notes during the roll call of “Break My Soul,” as Lizzo returned to tonight’s lineup. Wonder what Zoomers will make of “Mississippi Goddam” and “Pull Up to the Bumper” after they get home tonight and do some Googling. — A.B.

10:11 p.m. Blue Ivy Carter’s entrance during “Run the World (Girls)” gets a deafening cheer from the crowd. — M.W.

10:16 p.m. As a parent of children older than 11-year-old Blue Ivy, can very much relate to the moment Beyoncé is taking here to soak in the adulation for her daughter. What a wild summer internship. — M.W.

10:18 p.m. Pretty wild that rapping is, like, the fifth-best thing Beyoncé does when she’s onstage, but here comes “Savage” and she’s spitting absolute flames. — A.B.

10:19 p.m. We forgot to mention that Bey is doing all this on … a tank? — M.W.

10:26 p.m. After a costume change, we are back with “Church Girl.” Says Beyoncé, “If this is your song, I wanna give you permission to go crazy.” — M.W.

10:31 p.m. Has anyone ever sung a Frankie Beverly and Maze song at SoFi Stadium before? Beyoncé, and tens of thousands of fans, are doing it now on her cover of “Before I Let Go.” — M.W.

Beyoncé performs at SoFi Stadium

Beyoncé performs at SoFi Stadium on Friday night.

(Kevin Mazur / WireImage for Parkwood)

10:35 p.m. Bey’s singing “Rather Die Young” from “4” dressed like she’s about to hit the pool in Palm Springs. Love to hear a ballad about not making it to old age without your man, now sung on the other side of 40 surrounded by your family onstage. — A.B.

10:40 p.m. The crowd taking over “Love on Top” from Beyoncé as the song goes through its increasingly delirious key changes? Top 10 concert experience. — M.W.

10:51 p.m. What could be a more sumptuous setting for “Plastic Off the Sofa” than the inside of a three-story opalescent clamshell? Bey took it from there right into “Virgo’s Groove,” one of the spiritual centerpieces of the tour and the reason for all the silver in the crowd. — A.B.

10:55 p.m. Shout out to Syd of the Internet, the talented L.A. native who co-wrote and co-produced “Plastic Off the Sofa,” and who’s been making beautiful and wily soul music on a smaller scale in this town for close to a decade. — M.W.

10:58 p.m. Before “Heated,” Beyoncé asks how many concertgoers brought fans to the show — then advises folks to use them. — M.W.

11:07 p.m. She’s back from a break with “Thique” and has made the dancers essentially run a live barre class across a horizontal railing. From my very limited experience in such a setting, that’s a brutal turn this late in the set, but they’re handling it with aplomb. — A.B.

11:14 p.m. “I’m gonna need y’all’s help with this one,” Beyoncé says, and that’s the cue for “Drunk in Love,” a rarity on the Renaissance tour that’s throbbing throughout SoFi right now, as the singer ascends on a platform surrounded by sparks. — M.W.

11:22 p.m. If “America Has a Problem,” Beyoncé is here to tell you about it behind the prop desk at her KNTY4 NEWS stage rig, dressed in a menacing-looking Mugler bee helmet. — A.B.

11:28 p.m. As the show approaches its finale, Beyoncé dedicates “Pure/Honey” — with a bit of “Blow” — to “the legendary Beyhive.” — M.W.

11:32 p.m. Totally virtuosic ballroom circle happening with all the backup dancers during “Pure/Honey,” replete with death drops and some of the sauciest vogueing of the whole night. — A.B.

11:36 p.m. And now we have Beyoncé asking us to take a screenshot as she emerges astride an enormous, beglittered, Bianca-Jagger-at-Studio-54-style horse to sing “Summer Renaissance.” What a show. What a night. — M.W.

11:38 p.m. We’ve known this since Coachella 2018, but she is simply the best live performer working today. — A.B.

Source link