Second leg of Mrs Carter Show kicks off in Glasgow, receives ***FLAWLESS reviews

Pictured above: Beyonce performing 'Partition'

Some critics said that Beyonce’s performance at the Brit Awards on Wednesday night was boring.

It’s true that, next to her frequently naked rivals, Beyonce calmly belting out a sultry ballad in a floor-length sequinned gown seems positively chaste.

It’s a strange pop landscape we live in, where a woman who invented the word “bootylicious” basically looks like a nun compared to some of her contemporaries.

But as she showed on stage at the Glasgow SSE Hydro, Beyonce’s idea of megastar sex appeal is dry ice, silhouettes and suggestion, not twerking dwarves.

Even the name of her tour – The Mrs Carter Show, a nod to her husband and collaborator Jay-Z – has a certain innocence about it (she was also accused of being a bad feminist when she first announced it).

But Beyonce doesn’t care; she’s in love. Drunk In Love, in fact, which is the name of one of the best tracks on the "visual album" she casually slipped out in December, in between soirees with the Obamas.

Performed on stage for this first night of her European tour, the song, with its suggestive lyrics about what she and her husband get up to on the kitchen floor after too many drinks, was just as intoxicating.

Not that you would know to look at her, but Beyonce was apparently up all night before this show – but while she might occasionally enjoy getting “filthy when that liquor get into me”, in this case she was simply rehearsing.

It was a big night for her, the first time she had performed many of her new tracks, but she remained strikingly composed and confident throughout.

It’s not as if she needs to worry about her fans popping off for a loo break during the new songs – with the album selling 1 million copies within a week of release, they already know every word.

On stage, Beyonce barely paused for breath as she slickly segued from moody, atmospheric numbers like XO and Haunted to booty-shaking bangers like Flawless, which starts with a quote about feminism from Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and turns into a huge, powerful urban pop hit.

Along with the twee, catchy Pretty Hurts, the lyrics of Flawless touch on the pressure young girls are under to look as amazing as, well, Beyonce.

See, she has a social conscience as well as talent, charisma, a staggering work ethic and, yep, awe-inspiring thighs.

Pictured above: Beyonce performing '***Flawless'

Beyonce doesn't do things by halves.

So the first night of the second UK leg of her Mrs Carter tour in Glasgow's brand new SSE Hydro arena was never going to be a quiet affair.

Just 24 hours after her stunning Brits performance, trouper Bey was ready to do it all again, and some.

It was a special night to see the songstress as she performed tracks from her new album - Beyonce - for the first time ever.

The superstar's secret seven-hour all night rehearsal on Monday clearly paid off as the show was tightly produced, slickly delivered and dazzling to the extreme.

The majority of the venue's capacity was taken up with girls emulating aspects of Beyonce's signature glam style - whether it be sequins, big hair or high heels, their excitement adding to the electric atmosphere.

Warmed up by the support act - little known French DJ Monsieur Adi - Beyonce waited until almost 9.30pm before gracing the crowd with her almighty presence.

With anticipation at fever pitch, even the pre-show video adverts for her perfume, Pepsi, album and Prince's Trust charity campaign were met with enthusiastic screams.

The concert opened to organic scenes of dancers and mics appearing from the ground - before Beyonce sashayed onto the stage opening the show with three new tracks - Haunting, Drunk in Love and Flawless, integrated with old fave If I Was A Boy.

There are added visuals to the tour overloading the senses with multiple video screens, light shows, pyrotechnics and a killer speaker system.

After the polished segment she caught her breath to tell the crowd: "I'm so happy because that was the first time we've performed some of those songs.

"I love ya'll. I want to sing along ya'll."

And sing along the crowd did, after all you do what you're told when it comes to Beyonce.

We were treated to no less than EIGHT outfit changes: a sequinned ball gown, a sequinned cat suit, tartan hotpant suit (perhaps in a nod to Scotland), a sparkly leotard, a green ra-ra mini dress, a monochrome playsuit with thigh-high black leather boots, a fleurescent mini dress and, yes, MORE sequins for her finale in a pale number.

In between songs which included classics Halo, Diva and Single Ladies, alongside new tracks, she purrs: "You all sound so beautiful" in her deep, husky Texan drawl.

Her newly applied luscious long locks nicely are highlighted by a wind, or rather breeze, machine.

She's joined on stage by her all-female flawless 11-piece band and nine dancers, including the famous Les Twins duo, departing occasionally to touch the hands of her adoring fans.

There is no frantic Miley-style twerking or Rihanna crotch-grabbing here, Beyonce effortlessly oozes sex appeal and even manages to make dutty-wining looks classy.

For the finale she delivers an emotional rendition of new song Heaven, confessing: "This is a special night, this is a special song."

And with a heartfelt thanks to her team, and, of course, her fans, she struts off into the night leaving us all hot and breathless.

Whether she's playing Sasha Fierce, Mrs Carter or Bootlicious Beyonce Queen Bey reigns supreme.

So in the presence of musical royalty there's nothing left to do except Bow Down B*****s.

Pictured above: Beyonce performing '***Flawless'

“A little sweat never hurt nobody,” hollers Beyonce Knowles during her track Get Me Bodied. It's barely a quarter of the way through this frankly mighty first UK date of her Mrs Carter world tour, and surely all of the twelve thousand plus in attendance could do little but agree. The first time the former Destiny's Child played in Scotland was eleven years ago in a shopping mall come concert hall near Glasgow Airport, and her pouting, serious-faced procession of ballads flattered to deceive. By contrast this near two-hour epic is a ferocious distillation of musical styles old and new and a stunning declaration of intent that Knowles intends to be recognised as the defining pop artist of her era. It was, at the very least, one of the hardest working shows likely to be witnessed on a stage this year, and with barely a drop of minutely-choreographed sweat to be seen.

From the first minute something unique is promised, with a procession of dancers emerging from the stage for an extended and elaborately balletic routine before a giant LED screen, the tone mysterious and teasing as the screen eventually raises to reveal Knowles floating on slowly in a neck-to-toe ballgown. The music is something else, a blend of her familiar deep-lunged torch singing with a thundering bass containing a heavy dubstep influence amidst the opening Haunted, segueing through an unearthly,Invasion of the Body Snatchers screech into Drunk in Love. “Y'all gonna sing along with me, right?” she commands, legs akimbo on a chair in a sequinned catsuit, lost in a kaleidoscope of lights on the screens behind her.

The darker electro influence of this winter's latest, eponymous album is embraced fully in the early stages of the show, from the reappropriation of If I Were a Boy - bass crackling like thunder, the strings and some lyrics of the Verve's Bittersweet Symphonyblended in, and a chugging guitar riff buried somewhere in the mix - to the raw tumult of Bow Down, prefaced by a big-budget, grand guignol film clip portraying Knowles as a vampire queen in white face paint. Flawless was an exercise in sheer sass and retro Bronx street chic accessorised with leather shorts, braziers burning onstage as her crew danced and she spat out that commanding “I woke up like this” chorus line, an “I am what I am” for the 2010s.

Pages could be written outside the bounds of reportage about her decision to use Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED speech on feminism (beginning “we teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller...” and spelled out here in rousing, ten foot tall words) and of where her own work and image fits the sentiment of such a statement, but there's no question Knowles is a model of power and control throughout, even when her muse extends to writhing atop a grand piano or grinding through the disco-soaked majesty of Blow.

The call and response demands for more love from her crowd during Why Don't You Love Me were particularly mesmerising in their assurance, although perhaps the most telling story of Knowles' confidence in her music and performance came with shortened versions of the formation-dancing Crazy in Love andSingle Ladies (Put a Ring on It) which once blew away Glastonbury and a watching nation. In her career as with her live show, she keeps on moving on and you can't take your eyes or ears off her.


Drunk In Love

If I Were A Boy

Bow Down



Get Me Bodied

Baby Boy






Why Don't You Love Me



Love On Top


Crazy In Love

Single Ladies




source i, ii, iii