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It was the hottest ticket in town and on one of the hottest nights, Beyonce proved why she is still one of the hottest things in music right now. Capital's Showbiz reporter Kevin Hughes reports.
Looking stunning in a canary yellow flapper dress complete with silver heels, the star played an electrifying 45 minute set to officially launch the release of new album 4, at London’s 02 Shepherds Bush Empire.
"You gotta forgive me right now, as I’m still on a bit of a high after yesterday," the star told the assembled mix of fans and VIPs, referring to her acclaimed headline performance at Glastonbury before launching into comeback single 'Run the World'.
The VIP balcony guestlist read like a who’s who of music. Husband Jay Z sat next to Gwyneth Paltrow, Adele sat by Jessie J whilst Tinie Tempah rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ewan MacGregor, JB from JLS, Alexandra Burke, Mr Hudson and designers Stella McCartney and Tom Ford.
And after the crowd stopped chanting Jay-Z’s name, the lights dimmed and on came Beyonce displaying all the stage presence that has captivated fans around the world for nearly 15 years.
Accompanied by her 12 strong group of dancers and musicians, Beyonce powered their way through hits like 'Single Ladies' and 'Irreplaceable' but unlike Sunday’s Glastonbury, this time she gave fans the chance to pick the setlist.
“I feel the love in this room; love from so many of you that have been there for me since the beginning, so what songs do you wanna hear tonight?” she asked.
The star also told the crowd that she was “proud of my new album 4” before singing new single 'Best Thing I Never Had' as well as new tracks '1+1' and 'Until The End Of Time'. The latter’s up-tempo vibe particularly hitting the right spot. One lucky fan was even rewarded with her towel. Well, it was hot in there…
“I didn’t get to do this last night so here’s something special for you all,” she said before performing two minutes of Queen’s 'Bohemian Rhapsody' which segued into the Prince classic 'The Beautiful Ones' and culminating with her take on 'Sex of Fire'.
But it was her performance of her ‘Dreamgirls’ classic, 'Listen', that really cemented Beyonce’s claim to being one of the greatest vocalists around. It was a true goose bump moment.
And just like her Glastonbury slot, Beyonce brought the show to an end with the anthemic and fan favourite 'Halo'. And with her silver heels quickly removed, the singer and her burly bodyguards walked into the crowd to encourage front row fans to sing along. And with that, the show was over.
As he made his exit, a happy looking Tinie Tempah told me it was "amazing, amazing amazing. I was happy to be there". And Wretch 32 admitted to me "I’m astonished man, I’m kind of lost for words. She is just so inspirational".
As 1500 happy fans made their way home. Beyonce, Jay Z and 50 special guests drank Belvedere cocktails at the most exclusive after-show party in town.
Overall- a stunning, sizzling and simply amazing set from Beyonce and one of the best shows I’ve seen in years.
Run the World (Girls)
Best Thing I Never Had
Until the End of Time
Work It Out