If you haven’t already caught the scoop, Beyoncé has an affinity for numbers; specifically, the number four. Front and center at last night’s second of “4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé” at Roseland Ballroom (the first of which took place on Sunday, the FOURteenth), the lady of the hour took the stage to break down the numerological fondness and dazzle superfans and music industry elite alike. Because she usually performs for audiences ten times the size of the 2,500 capacity venue, tickets for this coveted concert series were a hot commodity, and with VIPs like Diddy, Russell Simmons, Ne-Yo, and The-Dream looking on the balcony, a ravenous crowd chanted the singer’s name repeatedly before the show’s 10 p.m. start time. Homegirl has unwavering disciples, and as we were soon reminded, she deserves each and every one of them.
The well-rehearsed, ninety-minute show —whose setlist was identical to Sunday night’s show—began with Beyoncé narrating the initial chapters of her career’s autobiography. From militaristic practice sessions at nine-years-old with the initial members of Destiny’s Child to securing their deal with Columbia Records in 1995, Bey’ ran through the timeline of her passionate path, stitching performance snippets into the fabric of her tales. Cut-down, crowd-pleasing hits like “Bills, Bills Bills,” “Say My Name,” and “Independent Women Part I” perpetuated a roar of approval that crescendoed when the introduction to “Survivor” was liberated by the diva’s all-female band. “With a lot of success comes a lot of negativity,” admitted the star as she launched into the female-empowerment anthem, graciously crediting her former cohorts Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams while also justifying the song’s endurance-focused sentiments.
There is often calm after a tumultuous storm, however, and once Beyoncé was finished discussing the uneven footing of her early days as an artist, she shared with the audience how powerful it was when she finally “found love.” Right on cue, the opening notes to the then-new couple’s very public relationship confirmation, Jay-Z’s “’03 Bonnie and Clyde,” hit our nostalgic radars, and as you might imagine, the crowd lost their minds. Before transitioning into a quick Dreamgirls story, Bey’ also performed her other Hov-centric hit, “Crazy in Love,” graduating from a slower, re-worked, funk version of the song into the full, familiar rendition, showcasing the video’s stomping strut that we all know and love. By also revisiting other iconic choreography that fans relentlessly study and mimic throughout the show, Bey’ managed to create a sea of “Single Ladies” hand-twirling and, once she got to the material from 4, lots of attempts at her “Run The World (Girls)” stankyleg-riverdancing.