The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Beyonce Brings the Renaissance to the World

Credit: Instagram

The world is entering another Renaissance—a rebirth of music— courtesy of Beyonce’s new album and recently finished world tour.

On Oct. 1, the 32-time Grammy winner closed her iconic tour in Kansas City, and people are looking back on the life-changing experience that was the “Renaissance World Tour.”

Beyonce has performed in 39 cities and 17 countries on the “Renaissance World Tour,” starting in Stockholm, Sweden on May 10, 2023, and concluding in Kansas City on October 1. Beyonce’s last tour, the “Formation World Tour,” from April 2016 to October 2016, was when she debuted live performances of her Grammy-winning album Lemonade.

The “Renaissance World Tour” has trumped her previous solo tour. The “Formation World Tour” spanned over 49 dates grossing $256,000,000, whereas the new tour spanned over 56 dates and generated $461,213,507.

According to Billboard, the tour broke worldwide ticket sales records and became a female artist’s highest-grossing tour ever. From the revolutionary set design by Es Delvin to the innovative styling of Bermudian Shiona Turini; the Renaissance tour was nothing short of a cultural movement.

The album, a dedication to her uncle Johnny who passed away of HIV and who loved house and dance music, opposes the notion that queerness isn’t something to be proud of. According to Daily Mail, her Uncle Johnny was one of her biggest inspirations in life who helped to design some of her early-stage productions.

The music shifts from her soulful pop and R&B style to have a more new-wave house music flair. According to The New York Times, Renaissance is a work of sonic hyper-specificity with an egalitarian spirit. The album is a nod to House and Dance music, traditionally that is prevalent in Black queer societies. Many of the inspirations of the album come from the ball or ballroom scene in the early 90s.

Ballroom culture, which often goes hand in hand with drag culture, is a queer subculture in which gender constructs are a myth. People may lip sync, walk, dance, or model in different categories that aim to satirize and ridicule everyday gender expectations. Different dance styles might include wacking or voguing, many of which head choreographer Chris Grant incorporated into the stage production. Many of the themes highlighted on the “Renaissance” tour were made extremely popular in the 2018 Hulu Show Pose.

Another aspect talked about in the show Pose is houses, which each drag, or ballroom star belonged to. Some popular houses include The House of La Bejia or The House of Aviance. This album welcomes you to the House of Renaissance.

Beyonce performed a catalog of her famous discography—old and new. Her setlist includes songs like “7/11,” “Get Me Bodied,” and “CUFF IT,” and even has special dance appearances from her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, during “My Power” from her “Black Is King” album.

Sophomore Ruthie Butler said that when she was younger, she would “watch Beyonce music videos on repeat and obsess over her voice.”

Ruthie loved hearing her favorite Beyonce song, “I Care,” and said that “it felt like a dream because her voice is even better in person.”

Beyonce tends to invoke a sense of community in everyone. Her music has the power to move millions; this power has come from years of her establishing a relationship with her fans on tours.

For years, Beyonce has been able to nurture a sense of belonging in her concerts. According to Forbes Magazine, “her fans feel like they have a relationship with her. That relationship has developed and strengthened over time…The longer you stick around, the more opportunity to connect with people in a way that makes them feel seen and supported by you.”

Jessica Rohan, English teacher and avid concert goer, appreciates live music because of its power to bring all kinds of people together. She saw Beyonce at Gillette Stadium.

“Live music has a way of uniting people of all walks of life,” she said. “I have such an appreciation for artists and am so glad that they share what they do. It was iconic to see a stadium as large as Gillette sing in unison. Absolutely breathtaking.”

Senior Nick Sobon was at the Aug. 3 Gillette Stadium stop.

“It was absolutely incredible and such an unforgettable experience,” he said.

Nick applauds Beyonce for creating a work that stood for something bigger than herself.

“The album itself has many references to house music and ballroom culture going back to the 80s, in which many LGBTQ+ people found safety in each other and built community,” he said. “This whole album and tour are dedicated to that. It is to celebrate uniqueness and individuality and the community that is formed through that.”

Beyonce superfan and closing night attendee, Nikki Chambers, has been to every Beyonce world tour excluding her very first tour, “Dangerously in Love,” and believed that this show topped all previous ones.

“This show is a few levels above everything…how she makes Black queer people feel is incredible,” she said. “You feel like you’re embraced…It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

Chambers appreciates the albums nod to the rich culture of house music. Chambers said, “Often when you think of house music, Black people are often left out the narrative, when in reality, we invented it.”

Chambers has an idea why the Renaissance album and tour has gained so much notoriety despite it occurring recently.

“A lot of people resonate with the message of inclusivity and love…it also resonates with people because its damn good album, from front to back, cover to cover. It is a body of work,” she said.

But the experience doesn’t end in Kansas City. Audiences can look forward to seeing “Renaissance: A Film” by Beyoncé in theatres this December.

According to a press release, the film “accentuates the journey of ‘Renaissance World Tour,’ from its inception to the opening show in Stockholm, Sweden, to the grand finale in Kansas City, Missouri,” it said. “It is about Beyoncé’s intention, hard work, involvement in every aspect of the production, her creative mind and purpose to create her legacy, and master her craft.”

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  • R

    RosettaOct 12, 2023 at 12:56 AM

    Thank you, I get to know more about Beyoncé and her music!

  • N

    Nikki ChambersOct 8, 2023 at 9:55 PM

    Great work, Soleil!

  • T

    Tamara RichardsonOct 6, 2023 at 12:11 PM

    An amazing read from start to finish. Not only did I learn new terms and expand existing knowledge of house music, but I now wish I had seen the show and want tickets for the movie. Another excellent piece of writing Soleil