Riding down to Metlife Stadium for Jay-Z and Beyoncé's "On The Run" tour (OTR for short), I didn't know what to expect. Would Jay-Z open? Surely Beyoncé's inner diva would not allow herself to be the opening act. It turned out the answer was neither.
The evening began with the happy couple making their grand entrance together to their 2003 collaboration "'03 Bonnie & Clyde", referring to the famed outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow who met their demise in 1934 after officers opened fire and killed them as they tried to make their getaway. The Bonnie & Clyde theme played out over the rest of the show during short films shown in between songs, as well as on the tour posters which displayed the two embracing while sporting thievish balaclavas in one version, and escaping as a bride and groom in another.
Over the course of the night, the duo traded off performances, alternating solo and duets, finally coming together for a finale of "Young Forever" and "Halo", during which they turned their backs to the crowd as they smiled and watched home videos of their daughter Blue play on the big stage screens.
Given the fact they both now have a huge amount of hits between the two of them, time did not allow for entire songs at all times, so medleys were utilized here and there. But not enough that one felt at all cheated, as there was plenty of equal effort amongst the full and partial performances of every song.
Jay-Z highlights included "Jigga", "No Church in the Wild", "Public Service Announcement", "On To The Next One", "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" and "99 Problems"; Beyoncé's musical highlights included "Run The World", "Flawless", "Ring The Alarm", "Drunk In Love", "Partition" and a lovely cover of Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor" during "If I Were A Boy." As always, Beyoncé's dancers were in tow, featuring the outstanding Les Twins, Laurent and Larry Bourgeois. Another highlight of the show were all the different costume changes. From sparkling catsuits dripping in fringe, to perfectly ragged cutoff jean shorts, to a leather jacket with "Texas" emblazoned on the back, to a flowing gown with an American flag train in black & white, her stage wardrobe was the 3rd member of the act.
It really was a treat to see both together, especially when they showed their playful side, as Jay hugged Beyoncé from behind, seemingly catching her off guard which caused her to smile, or when his wife danced up on him to rile him up. But aside from catching a live glimpse into how the two might behave as a couple when moments aren't choreographed, the entertainment was unbeatable. Between Jay-Z's artful way with rhymes and ability to get the crowd going, and Beyoncé's amazing vocal and dancing talents, it was a night of watching two Masters at work.