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Beyoncé shines in Allegiant Stadium debut

Updated August 28, 2023 - 6:11 pm

Late into her “Renaissance World Tour” at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday night, Beyoncé reappeared wearing what is known as her “hands on” catsuit.

This flesh-tone item is laden with crystals, with several black hand motifs with red fingernails reaching around the superstar.

As she moved, so did the hands and arms, creating an artistic squeeze play played to “Drunk In Love.” Of the many outfits Beyoncé donned in her Allegiant Stadium debut, this outfit could be accused of violating the singer’s personal space.

The superstar arrived in this bodysuit inside a giant, jeweled clam shell. And when you thought, “We need an enormous disco ball!” there it was, high above the roaring crowd, shining like an ode to The Sphere.

The 41-year-old superstar brought the flair, joy and power in a dominant performance, the first of two nights at Allegiant Stadium. Inspired by their heroine’s passion for fashion, devotees dressed in what has been accurately described as a rodeo in the far-off future. Some 40,000 of them (thought there were still tickets available hours before showtime) clad in glistening trim, oversized shades, mesh leggings, G-strings and bedazzled cowboy hats peppering the scene.

Among the fans in attendance was actress Angela Bassett, wishing her a happy birthday (she turned 65 on Aug. 16).

Beyonce’s surroundings, with the enormous platform cutting about a quarter of the venue, was one of the most adventurous ever at Allegiant Stadium. The stage opened with a rounded cutout in the middle, the site of many costume set changes. The video panels flanking the performers showed Beyoncé’s many expressions, the smiles and raised eyebrows and the occasional playful sneer, reaching the back of the stadium.

But Beyoncé’s voice was not lost in this setting, powerfully and resonantly cutting through the resplendent production effects.

The former Destiny’s Child frontwoman treated this crowd to a zigzag tour of her career, laid out in separate segments: Opening Act, Renaissance, Motherboard, Opulence, Anointed (parts 1-2) and finally Mind Control.

A long stretch of a half-dozen ballads, covering about a half-hour, opened beginning with a take of Destiny’s Child “Dangerously in Love,” followed by “Flaws and All” from “B’Day” and, as she took the top of a mirrored piano, “1+1.”

The tour is Beyoncé’s first since 2016’s “Formation World Tour,” and is supporting her seventh studio album. “Renaissance” was represented during a stretch where the artist resurfaced in silver robot gear, performing through “I’m That Girl,” “Cozy” and “Alien Superstar.”

The 32-time Grammy Award winner added a sprinkle of tributes to previous stars. “I Care” moved into “River Deep, Mountain High,” honoring Tina Turner, who died in May. The bouncy “Love on Top” revived the vibe of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” She created a “Queens Remix” of “Break My Soul,” which mashed the “Renaissance” leadoff single with Madonna’s “Vogue.”

Backed by a torrid backing band with a horn section led by soon-to-be-mother and trumpet great Crystal Torres and her percussive dance team, Beyoncé put together a club-centric show that was a residency unto itself.

The woman known to her legions of fans as Queen Bey kept with her tradition of wearing bee-inspired stage outfits in a yellow-and-black number, topped with an antennae headpiece. She shut it down while riding a flying, glittering, silver horse and finally going aerial on her own. (Beyoncé’s passion for silver, and request that her fans wear chrome effects to her show, has created a crush of online requests for silver clothing and accessories).

Finishing the two-plus-hour spectacle, Beyoncé left with the grandiose, extended version of “Summer Renaissance.” She introduced her backing team and hugged it out, a sweet, genuine moment topping a night that covered the gamut of emotions. For her legions of fans, the Queen Bey is an icon for all seasons.

Sammy on the scene

That guy who looked like Sammy Hagar hanging around a Fremont East nightspot on Saturday, was. The Red Rocker and column fave dropped in, unexpectedly (well, he expected it) to his PR ace Stephanie Wilson’s 50th birthday party at Cheapshot. Hagar made a late call and flew in his private plane for the event, which featured the terrific Gatsby-themed cover band The Moonshiners.

Hagar has been kicking around for business reasons over the past couple of weeks, but this one was entirely personal.

Cool Hang Alert

A band and show to see, Hot Club of Las Vegas, returns to Maxan Jazz at 6 p.m. (when sushi and cocktails are served) and 7 p.m. (music time) Thursday. Show runs until 10 p.m. Noybel Gorgoy on vocals, Mundo Juillerat on guitar, Alex Stopa on drums, Chris Davis on bass. This is gypsy jazz at its best. No cover, but $25 F&B minimum per person. Go to maxanjazz.com for reservations.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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