Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Concert review: Beyonce at Vector Arena (+video)

Beyonce performs on her Mrs Carter Show World Tour at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo / Rob Hoffman
Beyonce performs on her Mrs Carter Show World Tour at Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo / Rob Hoffman

It's been 12 years since Beyonce last graced a stage in New Zealand, but the moment she strutted on stage through the midst of her all girl band, and parted her sea of 10 dancers, it became abundantly clear why she is crowned the queen of pop.

Moments before, she appeared on the mammoth video screen backdrop, dressed as royalty, ready for her coronation, but in a burst of fire, lasers, smoke, and fireworks, she appeared before us, clearly pumped for the next leg of her Mrs Carter World Tour.

The crowd had earlier been treated to a rousing support performance from Stan Walker, which proved to be the perfect powhiri for the occasion, and showed his own vocal prowess isn't far off Mrs Carter's.

But when Beyonce dove straight into Run The World, the 32 year old made everyone in the sold out arena feel like just about anything was possible in the next 90 minutes. Every hip thrust, and every hair flick were a statement of precision and power, and the visual presentation was endlessly impressive, whether there were fireworks raining down on the stage, or ballet dancers swirling.


The synchronicity of her vibrant, fierce dance moves with the heavy rhythms of songs like End Of Time and Get Me Bodied, created the perfect primal fusion.

Beyonce quickly had everyone behaving like a cheeky class of students, saucily calling out "Hey Miss Carter", and ready to be schooled in the art of how to use one's legs a weapon of mass seduction. She promptly belted her way through feminist ballad If I Were A Boy (mashed up with Bittersweet Symphony), led a dance explosion in Baby Boy, dripped with hip hop attitude in Diva, and was a picture of allurement as she sang Naughty Girl in a slinky red gown.

She had a wonderfully Whitney Houston moment, clad in a purple catsuit, twisting herself over the top of a grand piano as she sang 1 + 1. But it was the final bracket of Irreplaceable, when she walked through the middle of the audience to a second stage, sharing the mic with fans; along with Love On Top; a pumping dance version of Crazy in Love; and a Texan-ised showgirl version of Single Ladies, which left her, and the crowd, breathless and beaming.

She courageously left her biggest vocal moment to the end of the night, emerging from the darkness to do an a capella version of I Will Always Love You, and of course a stunning, soulful rendition of Halo.

It was the perfect finale by a superlative star who manages to be both a deity to female empowerment, and yet compellingly warm and human at the same time.

What: Beyonce
Where: Vector Arena, Auckland
When: Wednesday, October 15

- NZ Herald

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Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Childhood music lessons eventually led to degrees in music and media studies for Lydia Jenkin, launching her career as an entertainment writer. A love of late nights watching local musos - whether in dingy bars or at summer music festivals – saw her become assistant editor at NZ Musician magazine for nearly five years before she jumped at the chance to join the TimeOut team. She's at her happiest when ranting about her latest music discovery, but is equally keen on excellent film and television (The Dark Horse and True Detective are her picks so far for 2014).

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