Beyoncé: I Am... World Tour Review
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My previous personal knowledge of Beyoncé was seeing her in the Austin Powers movie, Goldmember. That’s not to say that I hadn’t heard about this current Queen of Divas, it’s just that I’d never listened to her other than when I may have overheard her on a radio station my daughter listens to.

I was pleasantly surprised watching the DVD of her recent world tour. There is no doubt that Beyoncé is a captivating entertainer. When the DVD starts, she appears as a silhouette, and when a flash of lights and smoke goes off to unveil her in a gold outfit… wow! However, I did feel a little unsure of the DVD’s audience because, for a moment, it reminded me of a runway walk from the Victoria’s Secret TV specials. But I guess if that type of show is now on network TV, what was once considered off-limits is now considered mainstream.

I had some doubts about whether her voice would be strong enough for such large stadium shows, but she pulled it off, with a good example being her rendition of “Ave Maria.” Her band is tight, and she’s surrounded herself with very talented dancers and backup singers. In the long line of divas, such as Tina Turner, Madonna, and Christine Aguilera, she captures the viewers’ full attention. It’s hard not to keep your eyes on her.

The DVD captures different shows during her recent 108-show, 78-city, 32-country, six-continent tour. Highlights include her duo performances with Kanye West and also one with her husband Jay-Z during the song, “Crazy in Love.” Part of the DVD that features her off-stage shows her counting down the days until she will be home with Jay-Z. Two things that rubbed me the wrong way, though, were, first, her comments about how she had to get up and travel crazy hours and how difficult it was to be away from home. She’s making gazillions of dollars, and in today’s economy and job market, some unemployed person may not sympathize with her. Also, nowhere in the booklet that comes with the DVD/CD are any credits about the band, backup singers, or dancers. Beyoncé is the show, but give credit where credit is due.

The bonus feature, Mic and a Light, gives some detail into the behind-the-scenes work for the shows. As I said above, though, Beyoncé is the show. It’s hard not to be the focal point of attention when you look like she does on stage. The audience—mostly of young fans—is obviously crazy about her, and those same fans will enjoy watching the DVD.

The included CD, as a standalone, may seem a little lacking because it isn’t a studio-produced CD but a CD of the songs as they’re performed in the concert footage. For that reason, it lacks the polish of a CD that would be recorded and mixed in the studio, where the sound engineers can do everything to reproduce the sounds of the musicians and Beyoncé’s voice to perfection.

Overall, though, this package will make a nice addition to any fan’s collection.

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