The Carters created their own world on their first joint tour together with "On the Run." Beyoncé and Jay Z got up close and personal, giving fans an intimate look into both of their worlds.
Kicking off at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, this past weekend, the night began with the message “This is Not Real Life," followed by a video clip of "Run." Featuring Jay Z and Beyoncé in character as a black Bonnie and Clyde engaged in gun battles and car chases, the short film set the theme for the majority of the two and a half hour concert. Bey, wearing a fishnet ski mask, kept with the “fugitive on the run” theme of playing femme fatale. Jay took things back to the beginning of their relationship opening the show with their 2002 hit “03 Bonnie and Clyde."
Wasting no time moving things forward, Beyoncé delivered the outro verse on “Upgrade U” a cappella as she removed her mask and the music kicked in. Despite performing “Crazy in Love” towards the end of her set list on her Mrs. Carter Show tour, Beyoncé launched into “Crazy in Love” immediately, which contained elements of Jay’s “Show Me What You Got." Throughout the show, some of Beyoncé’s songs contained elements of Jay Z’s singles (most notably “Ring the Alarm” which sampled Jay’s “Takeover”).
As the night continued, it became clear that despite the show being joint between the couple it was Beyoncé who was the focus. For most of the concert, when she changed costumes and he wasn’t performing with his wife, Jay popped on stage for solo songs like “Tom Ford”, “Big Pimpin," and “On to the Next One.” His stage presence was most felt on solo numbers like “Jigga My Nigga," "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”, and “Clique."
When Mrs. Carter did arrive back on stage, it was in theatrical fashion. Whether accompanied by flames during the intro to “Run the World,” or arising from under the fog, her energetic choreography included renditions of Bobby Shmurda's "Shmoney Dance" during "Flawless." She sizzled in sexy, making old singles refreshing, such as adding a Michael Jackson twist to “Love on Top."
Featuring no guest performances during the show, Beyoncé filled in for Justin Timberlake, taking the spotlight on songs like “Holy Grail."
Throughout the show, The Carters shared playful and tender moments with each other onstage. Jay wrapped his arms around Beyoncé at the end of “Drunk in Love." However, like every relationship there are low points and painful moments. Beef could be felt in Beyoncé’s soul reaching belting on “Resentment.” Wearing a white wedding outfit, her cover version of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor," soaked with tearful hurt, while Jay Z returned to apologize on “Song Cry”.
As the colorful show drew to a close, the Carters switched gears to “This is Real Life," showing off-stage family moments including their wedding, vacations, while Beyoncé sang “Forever Young” to home videos of time spent with their daughter Blue Ivy. Shots of Beyoncé looking into Blue’s eyes for the first time after giving birth, served as a complete contrast to the “gangster image” presented earlier in the show.
At the conclusion of the concert, Beyoncé and Jay Z thanked each other along with fans in attendance, as their Watch the Throne song “Lift Off” played as the couple made their exit.
Although enjoyable, anyone who attended Beyoncé’s "Mrs. Carter" tour already saw most of "On the Run." The key difference came in the meshing of matrimonial differences that engaged them in doing the one thing on stage that brought them together for, hopefully, ever.