Nashville, TN.--After a five-month postponement, religious protestors, and an awkward set from DJ Khaled, Nashville was more than ready for Beyoncé to light up the Nissan Stadium for the Formation World Tour on Sunday Oct. 2.
As thousands of fans waited outside the venue, dressed in various styles ranging from Insta-baddie staples (wing eyeliner and a good thigh high) to embellished lemon-themed garments, the atmosphere was strangely calm … until religious protesters with megaphones blasted explicit remarks at crowd. Nothing gets concertgoers ready quite the same as having “YOU’RE ALL GOING TO HELL” blasted in their ears during security check.
It’s hard to dislike a guy like DJ Khaled, and he was putting in WORK to get the crowd to stand and get hyped for his opening performance. However, the magic and initial charm of seeing the Snapchat king ran out after the first few, “MAYJOR KEY ALERT”s were screamed into the microphone. Khaled admirably pushed through his set list, but the hype grew more lackluster as fans began to sit down to save energy for the main show.
At last, Nissan Stadium dimmed, and an enormous, 60-foot glowing cube began spinning on stage. Fans were erratic and Beyoncé hadn’t even appeared yet, except the giant rendition of herself writhing across the screen in pulsing bursts.
Suddenly the familiar beat of the title track of the night “Formation” began, and hat-clad dancers flooded the stage, one of which being the woman of the night.
The show was nothing short of a spectacle. Those close to the stage could feel bursts of heat as flame pillars erupted into the sky. Strobe lights flashed in timed bursts to the music. The track list seamlessly transitioned between new hits and classic favorites. However, the sensory overload of music and stage production never deterred from the star of the night.
Beyoncé displayed pure athleticism, never losing energy throughout the entire night. Working through multiple outfit changes accented by demanding choreography, she remained ever the entertainment titan for the duration of the whole show.
Notable moments included a Prince tribute in which the audience sang along to Purple Rain, complete with giant, purple cube glowing on stage. It was an intimate moment of camaraderie as fans swayed back and forth, waving their cellphones to create a sea of flashing white lights.
The most impactful display of the night was the track “Freedom.” A barefoot Beyoncé returned to the stage, which was now filling with water. Awaiting fans were not aware they were now standing in the splash zone as Beyoncé and her dancers began thrashing through the pool to the beat of blaring brass instruments.
A concert of this scale ended the only way it should: with a massive explosion of confetti later followed by a firework display shooting out of multiple orifices of the Nissan Stadium. Even as she lowered below the stage, Beyoncé interacted with fans, pointing and making faces until the trap door closed.
The aftermath of thousands of fans parading out of the venue ended the night with everyone wading through the circus of traffic, trying to absorb everything they just witnessed.