The Carters are “On The Run” again! Jay-Z and Beyonce are out on tour for the second iteration of their co-headlining stadium tour.
The first “On The Run” tour happened in 2014 amidst immense rumors of their marital turmoil. These rumors would later be confirmed in Beyonce’s “Lemonade” and Jay-Z’s “4:44.” Still, the show was a must-see spectacle that grossed over $109 million in 21 dates. The tour was also documented in the HBO special “On The Run: Beyonce and Jay Z.”
“On The Run II” kicked off with it’s European leg in June. I attended the first of two shows in Paris, France. The tour landed in North America July 25 for a 30 date run, with one show in Philadelphia July 30.
So what can you expect from “On The Run II?”
First, expect the hits. Jay-Z and Beyonce as a duo have more hits than many other mainstream pop acts, from chart-toppers to the deep cuts that the true fans love. You will definitely hear all your favorite songs that the duo has created together like “Crazy in Love,” “03 Bonnie & Clyde” and “Drunk in Love.” Beyonce will also treat you to her take on some of the famous choruses on popular Jay-Z tracks.. Her performance on “Holy Grail” puts Justin Timberlake to shame.
You should also expect the big brass from Beychella. After Beyonce claimed Coachella as her own earlier this year, one of the most talked about elements of her jaw-dropping performance was the marching band she brought to accompany her. A smaller version of this band has been brought on for the tour. They don’t perform in every song like they did for Coachella, but they perform in a large portion of them that give the songs a boost of energy.
There is a less intense plotline than was present in the first “OTR” tour. The first tour began with the screens stating “THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE,” followed by a string of Bonnie and Clyde themed visuals depicting the couple on the run after a bank heist. The visuals were gritty, gangster and laden with gunshots. I often found the interludes jarring and taking me out of the atmosphere the music had created.
“On The Run II” however begins with the stadium screens stating “THIS IS REAL LIFE.” The visuals on this tour are classier in comparison. They focus more on the couple loving, fighting and reuniting. I thought this plot was more enjoyable than that of the previous tour.
Expect to be amazed by Beyonce’s dancing. Going to see this tour after going to see the “Formation World Tour” twice, I was afraid I would just see a rehashing of that tour’s dances, with some Jay-Z interspersed. Of course, I never should have doubted Beyonce’s ability to refresh her choreography. There are some totally new dance breaks, and moments in familiar dance breaks that have been changed to keep you engaged. The bone breakers who performed with Beyonce at Coachella also pop up a couple times, but all of the dancers other than them are female.
Don’t expect to hear much from “Everything is Love.” Though the pair released a joint album this summer, they have yet to really perform any of the songs on it. This is likely because the release occurred after four shows of the tour. The show is an immensely detailed spectacle with many moving parts. It would be hard to just slide these songs in. However, there was a slight break between the European leg and North American leg which may have given them time to rearrange parts of the show to fit the new songs in.
Lastly, expect to have a good time. The Carters keep the show going strong from beginning to end with barely any down time. Each of them takes a moment before the final act to bring the pace down and perform a ballad, but the show is mostly bop after bop after bop. I was dancing and singing along almost the whole time. As a member of the Beyhive, I am obviously biased, but still, I would highly recommend attending this show.
“On The Run II” takes over Lincoln Financial Field July 30th, with DJ Khaled and Chloe X Halle opening the show. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.