The Carters have had quite a year thus far. As with any family they’ve had their share of highs and earth shattering lows. None-the-less, this power couple has the smarts, finesse and unmatched talent that keeps them both at the top of their game. As a single act, either performer could and has filled arenas. That said, it was no surprise, that as a duo, Miami’s Sun Life Stadium was without one empty seat during the Tours opening show. Over 60,000 patrons showed up to see the Queen B and her hubby. To depict just how significant that number is: when sold to capacity, the American Airlines Arena tops out at 19, 600. That means the couple managed to fill the AAA a little over three times in just one night. The tour is estimated to have earned over $100 million dollars in ticket sales thus far, and is pretty much sold out at almost every venue. That makes it the second most successful tour to date (if judging only by the dollars earned). The number one spot is held by U2 who earned 7 times that, but over the course of 110 shows. The On the Run Tour is comprised solely of 20 shows.
- The performances delivered. Both artistes were on point at every turn of their 150 minute performance. The show went seamlessly without pause or intermission.
- The direction was pristine. If you weren’t fortunate enough to acquire floor seats, you still got an intimate grasp of the show. The Jumbo tron, situated on either side of the stage, didn’t just display shots of the artist as they performed. It was clear that a lot of thought and perhaps pre-recorded rehearsals went into preparing the live display of the show. It was done so well, that floor seat patrons could often be found recording and taking pics directly from the high-resolution jumbo tron instead of the stage.
- Together the couple performed over 40 songs. The transition from one artist to the other was seamless. This added to the crowd’s momentum. It wasn’t your run of the mill song for song line up. Instead it was as if watching a video mash-up. Imagine watching a mix-tape being performed in person. That’s what it’s like.
- The concept. The concept matched it’s title quite fluidly. The set design and song line up was structured as to follow the extended version of the short film the couple released some weeks prior. As such, the concert fittingly opened with the couple’s hit, Bonnie and Clyde, followed by songs cleverly correlating with their staged life on the road as fugitives. The show closed with Forever Young, as the score to clips of the couple being taken into custody. It was very creative, to say the least and moderately executed.
- Bonus footage. The bonus footage of celebrity mug shots was the beginning of what would be a heartwarming conclusion. The Carters shared a beautiful film of their intimate moments as family, showcasing daughter blue ivy, their family vacations and a side not often seen of the trio.
- The Venue. Miami Dade Police did a horrendous job directing traffic to the stadium. What could have been a 15 minute drive took us 75 minutes. Lanes were closed for no foreseeable reason and traffic was diverted, only to roam in circles to arrive at the same singular entrance. In addition, Sun Life Stadium did a horrendous job of directing parking.
- Exploitation. The stadium has sold out seats to several sports events and typically charges a max of $20. ‘Tonight,’ merely because of the demand and the lack of patron choices the price to park was $30! What’s worse was the disparity. A few friends of mine who arrived much later were instead told to pay $40.
- Disorganized. Upon entrance to the venue we asked how to get to our floor seats. To get to the floor we had to first go up to the 100 section for our bands only to come back down to the floor. We (among others) were ping -ponged to four different areas before we could get our bands and an actual outlet to the field.
- The concert started really late. While many of us were grateful the concert did not start on time(8pm); waiting until 938 on a weekday for things to get started, was no picnic either. That said, audience members were easily consoled by the non-stop gig that came after.
- The “In-the-movie” concept. As I mentioned before, the concept gets a solid 5 stars for creativity and follow through. While executed without a hitch, the pauses to show clips in between performances often went on just a smidge too long. At some points, one could feel as though they were on a roller coaster. First your all the way up with a kick ass performance, then it’s “dit-di-dit-di-dit-di-doo” while the video clip plays, then it’s all the way up again.
Jay-Z Performance Clips
Have you been to the concert? What did you think of the show?