Jay Z and Beyonce perform at Coachella 2018

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The 4 greatest things about Beyonce and Jay Z’s Sunday OTR II concert

A recap from the second ATL show

August 27, 2018

You might’ve heard about the security issue that occurred the first night of Beyonce and Jay Z’s stop in Atlanta for their On The Run II tour. We all learned a few important lessons from the unfortunate situation (at least it was for the dude who jumped on stage only to get jumped in return): You don’t want problems with Beyonce’s dancers, and you wouldn’t want to have been Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s security manager this past Saturday night. Those learnings aside, those of us with Sunday tickets had no such shenanigans – just a fantastic show that proved The Carter’s cultural value is even greater than their material worth, and it looks a lot like they know it. Here are four takeaways from the stellar second night of the On The Run II concert stop in Atlanta.


1. Opening act CHLOE X HALLE shined

ATL!! our hometown ----ready for you tonight for our show @ center stage! sold out babbbbyyy

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The wildly talented sisters/singers/actors performed “Grown,” their theme song to the ABC spin-off series “Grown-ish,” and generally showed that they are worth every bit of investment they’re getting from Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment company. They’ve got great energy, serious musical skills and strong vocal ability that seems incapable of falling out of key, even with all the multi-tasking both sisters do during their show. It’ll be interesting to see over the next few years how long they’ll try to retain their Disney-like family appeal, and when they might pivot to more adult themes, much like their mentor. In the meantime, their future sounds seriously bright.


2. DJ Khaled’s hypeman skills are strong

ATL LUV .... #OTR2 #TOUR #NIGHT2 Swipe to left for vibes LEGENDS ALERT --

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Mr. We the Best followed the sister act, promising surprises and delivering a quick set of his own hit records, including “All I Do Is Win,” “I’m On One,” and “I’m The One,” and “Wild Thoughts.” Those songs’ featured artists didn’t join the show, but he did bring out a quite a few notable acts, beginning with BlocBoy JB, whose “Look Alive” collaboration with Drake has given the Memphis rapper a large audience of ears. Khaled also hosted former Roc-A-Fella rapper Freeway, comedian Lil’ Duval (who delivered a few bars of his surprise summer hit “Smile B*tch”), singer August Alsina, and a slew of ATL celebrities, including CeeLo Green, Jeezy, and a tag-teaming Big Boi and Killer Mike, who performed “Kill Jill” and “Kryptonite,” which always wins in Atlanta. Even Jamie Foxx randomly came out and hit a few notes of “Golddigger,” to the crowd’s unexpected delight. At this point, you have to give it to Khaled; the disc-jockey-turned-supreme-hypeman has successfully turned himself into a household name. If you’re still hating on the Miami deejay, you’re officially too late.


3. Beyoncé and Jay Z have a crazy amount of hit records


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When recording artists have made gigantic songs that everybody knows, you sometimes forget that they have other songs that we’ve all memorized as well. But the reality is that both Carters have catalogs that represent decades, and they can both select or ignore entire albums worth of past material and still perform for hours. Not every song got the same reaction – some of Jay’s songs in particular, such as “Forever Young,” “Run This Town,” and surprisingly “U Don’t Know” weren’t exactly crowd favorites – but he also had big moments performing “P.S.A,” “The Story of OJ,” and “N*ggas in Paris,” which he started twice and even recited a few of Kanye West’s second verse. And of course their true collabs, from “Déjà Vu” to the bouncy “Nice,” the slept-on “Part II (On The Run)” and an animated delivery of “Apesh*t” to close out the night.


4. The story arc of Jay and Bey’s relationship as performance art
One of the takeaways from the show was the messaging. These two aren’t just a couple; they’re now full-fledged partners in raising children, co-headlining tours, recording albums, and somehow dealing with real-life issues they’re not afraid to expose to the public. It’s an amazing turnaround from a couple that wouldn’t even acknowledge its existence back around 2000, when they first began quietly dating. At this point, their raw honesty and emotion flows outward, making the almost-billionaire superstars seem like some of the most relatable celebrities of our time. And even if it’s an illusion, it’s beautiful.  One of the most powerful moments was when both performed older songs about love and relationships by themselves (he did “Song Cry,” and she followed with “Resentment”). Though they were recorded at different times (and apparently, at least in Jay’s case, with different people in mind than each other), both songs somehow spoke perfectly in their sequence to the narrative of Jay’s marital infidelity, and Bey’s choice to forgive him. Even Jay’s “Blueprint 3” song “Forever Young,” which seemed somewhat forced, was accompanied by candid personal footage of their relationship and family, whose authenticity made it very special.

With an adoring crowd, a captivating tour video that told a story of their love through interpretive imagery and a fictional fantasy film, and no drama from stage-crashers like the previous night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, On The Run II felt bigger than a concert. It was a live act of conflict and resolution, told through music, dance and reality. And it felt like the kind of love anyone can have, whether you’re a true global powerhouse couple like The Carters, or just somebody that loves somebody else, and wanted to share that moment with other people here in Atlanta that appreciate and celebrate the chance to see ourselves through Beyonce and Jay Z, working out their troubles as they continue to be what the rest of us call goals.