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Beyoncé – Raymond James Stadium – Tampa (A Concert Review)

Beyoncé – Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, FL – August 16, 2023

Beyoncé made her long-awaited return to Tampa Bay this week for her Renaissance World Tour. As the show started, from off stage her voice was like silk and rang over the stadium as fans anxiously and excitedly waited her arrival. “I close my eyes and travel through realms of space and time. Reality has no power or control of my state of mind” she spoke through the speakers. “On my voyage to find my inner being.”

This was a special Wednesday night in the sunshine state, as Queen Bey took fans on a renaissance voyage through songs of her past and present. Emerging from the stage for the opening act, she stunned in a beautiful metallic silver sparkling gown. Starting off with hits like “Dangerously in Love” and “1+1,” that soulful and powerful voice we all know, and love captured the crowd in more ways than one.

Coming from a three-night stretch of shows in Atlanta, Beyoncé put on a two-and-a-half-hour, unforgettable show full of singing, dancing, voguing, and empowerment. As the night progressed, she introduced the next five acts in their own unique way. Creating stunning visuals that apprehended the audience and immersed them into each different side of Beyoncé.

Continuing with Renaissance, the crowd entered a field of vision that showed a robotic cityscape. Beyoncé appeared on stage covered in metal, performing hits from her most recent album Renaissance which was heavily influenced by the LGBTQ+ ballroom scene; while her dancers followed behind her in metallic doing it the “Renaissance way.” The next act “Motherboard” leads us into showing Beyoncé herself as a machine creating a pink dream, stunning in a crisscross pink gown. Traveling into the crowd she sings many songs like her hit “Break My Soul” shouting out inspiring women like; Rosetta Tharpe, Bessie Smith, and Aretha Franklin.

Entering the “Opulence” act dressed in camouflage, Beyoncé arrived on stage hanging on a pole on top of a moving tank. Her dancers almost acted like an army in battle. Earning the loudest applause and screams was Beyoncé’s 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter joining her mom to dance on stage. The crowd went wild as this act was empowering and uplifting. Moving on in the night came the “Mind Control” segment. Coming out in a bumblebee costume Beyoncé had all eyes on her. This act showcasing a news broadcasting network, she took you into her world of knowing you were watching her show.

In the crowd you could feel the love and energy radiating throughout the whole stadium. Beyoncé took her time interacting with as many people as she could, saying at one point “Anyone celebrating a birthday tonight? Happy Birthday to you!” Even with thousands and thousands of people in attendance she made each and every person feel special.

As the night went on it was filled with nothing but love, celebration, and top tier fashion. With about 8 costume changes, Beyoncé had everyone in awe, captivating the audience with a stunning wardrobe. Reciprocating that energy, the fans showed up in their own Beyoncé inspired look from all her past and present personas. The most favored accessories were foldable fans and sparkly fringed cowboy hats. The Beyhive showed once again that they did not come to play.

While mostly playing songs from her newest well-loved album Renaissance and 2011 album 4 she pulled the crowd in with unforgettable mashups and even paid homage to the great late Tina Turner. This tour also being a tribute to Bey’s late Uncle Johnny and other cherished people of the black queer community, she created a love letter to them in the form of music. With the energy and love being at an all-time high from start to finish, Beyoncé gave it her all and made sure to give love back in a way that made everyone feel appreciated. “This is the hottest show I’ve done” she said “y’all still gave us so much energy. I want to say thank you.”

Closing the night, she sang the song “Summer Renaissance” while floating across the crowd. Fans looked in awe, as they felt safe and celebrated. For some people this wasn’t just a show it was home! The Renaissance World Tour continues Friday, August 18th in the wonderful city of Miami.

Hayley Mathis

Copyright ©2023 All rights reserved. Posted: August 17, 2023.

Photos © 2023 Julian Dakdouk. Courtesy of The Renaissance World Tour. All rights reserved.

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