Beyoncé is back.
Please, do yourselves a favor, and don’t make the biggest mistake of your life by missing out on buying tickets to the Formation World Tour.
In case you needed any convincing at all*, here are 15 reasons why missing Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour would be a serious life mistake (in videos).
*Nota bene: I don’t know why you’d even need convincing to buy tix for Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour. Like, just go, everyone please go (if you can even get tix, that is). You can’t put a pricetag on a once in a lifetime experience.
1. “Formation (Dirty)” – 2016:
If you needed one reason, and one reason only, for why you should buy tickets to the Formation World Tour, this is it. “Formation (Dirty)” slays. Beyoncé slays. But it is more than fire, more than a song: it is at once an important political statement (a call for activism, for change, at that), an ode to female empowerment, and a certifiable banger.
Bey brings us into New Orleans, Louisiana, where she basks in post-Hurricane Katrina imagery. She rests on top of a sinking cop car, in Gucci nonetheless. She flips the bird in a black chapeau in front of a mansion. “Formation (Dirty)” is a powerful anthem, celebrating life, defiance, feminism, African Americans, and LGBT people alike. And lest you forget, she “came to slay, bitch.” There’s no contrived attitude (or subdued attitude, either) here. In a world where women are constantly told how to act and how to react, here’s Beyoncé doing exactly what she wants with unabashed confidence (“I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it” should become all of our mottos). And in light of the careless cop shootings and rampant police brutality headlines, Beyoncé is a far ways away from just “Ring the Alarm.” She’s at the center of a movement now (yes, a formation!).
Bey also makes an important political call to arms against systematic racism, and against marginalized oppression. “Stop shooting us,” a spray painted wall reads, after a child dances in front of a line of police, who then throw their arms up. Police brutality is, unfortunately, real life.
Note the Black Panther, Malcolm X, and Michael Jackson references during her Super Bowl 50 show (see below to #3) and clear endorsement for the #BlackLivesMatter movement throughout the music video. Need we also remind you that February is Black History Month and that we’re living through a second year of #OscarsSoWhite?
And the video, of course, is as fashion as it is a piece of cultural anthropology. That’s what makes it so personal and flawless: Bey explicitly explores her Creole identity and beauty, supported by a stunning team of all-black, all-female dancers. She unapologetically celebrates her roots, beauty and her past (shout out to Blue Ivy who grabs an adorable scene, “baby hair and afros” and all, and the line referring to husband Jay Z, “I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces”).
Lastly, she emphatically embraces her future with the announcement of the Formation World Tour. “‘Cuz she just might be a black Bill Gates in the making,” and no lies told. She slay, and she knows it.
2. Super Bowl Halftime Show – 2013:
The Super Bowl halftime show as an event peaked in 2013 when Beyoncé performed and blew the hypothetical roof off the stadium.
3. Super Bowl Halftime Show – 2016 (“Formation” & “Uptown Funk” Mashup)
…That is, until she performed again in 2016. She as well as Bruno Mars were unceremoniously referred to as Coldplay‘s “special guests” over and over, but we know the truth: Super Bowl 50 was ALL about Beyoncé, and Bey only.
Her performance was incredible, typically epic and politically-charged. She was unapologetic in her message (as she was in “Formation (Dirty)”), just as any other artist is when they perform live.
Of course, many critics have called for a senseless Boycott against Beyoncé (with the hashtag #BoycottBeyonce), and/or are up in arms over her performance due to her Black Panther and Malcolm X references (i.e. the black berets, X formation and “Black Power” fist salutes). But we would also call some of those critics conservatives or something else…more…pointed…so…
Race was brought in because Beyoncé was brought in. And brace yourself, you might want to sit down for this, but Beyoncé is black. And as a black person, you walk around every day constantly reminded that you are black—we’re more likely to get paid less, we’re more likely to get sent to prison, and we’re more likely to win a dance competition. (What? It’s not all bad.)
Then there are the critics who are mad Beyoncé used her show “as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive,” as former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani put it. Because “you’re talking to middle America when you have the Super Bowl. So if you can have entertainment, let’s have decent, wholesome entertainment,” he said while on Fox and Friends.
Williams’ one-sentence response: “You know what’s in the middle of America? Ferguson, Missouri.”
Boom. (Watch that segment here). It’s also worth noting that no one complained about Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, who wore a Global Citizen armband in order to publicize the fight against poverty. If this doesn’t highlight a deep, apparent cultural divide, I don’t know what else will.
She enters around 1:30:
4. Global Citizens Festival – September 2015 (“Flawless,” “Feeling Myself” & Yonce”):
In which Beyoncé exhibits a brilliant feminist video manifesto, featuring the amazing words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (whom Bey quotes in “Flawless”). Lest you forget:
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, “You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.” But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage, and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
It’s also yet another reminder that Bey is a killer dancer:
5. MTV Video Music Awards – 2014 (“Flawless” & “Yonce”):
2014 was the year Bey delivered an epic, memorable medly and received the Video Vanguard Award from, who else, her adorable family Jay Z and Blue Ivy.
6. Global Citizens Festival – September 2015 (“7/11”):
The in-sync choreography between her and her dancers is, for lack of a better word, flawless:
7. Global Citizen Festival – 2015 (“Crazy in Love, Remix and Original”):
We loved Bey’s Fifty Shades of Grey take on “Crazy in Love.” Don’t worry, she sings the original version too.
8. Grammys – 2014 (“Drunk in Love”):
Instance #5004893 in which Beyoncé stole the show: the 2014 Grammys. Beyonce’s performance (with Jay Z) brought the sexy, and we’ve never quite recovered. And she opened the show, leaving no mercy for anyone following.
9. Tidal X 10/20 Charity Concert – 2015 (“Feeling Myself”):
Dream team Bey and Nicki Minaj performed “Feeling Myself” for the first time for Tidal (lol). What a game changer.
10. NFL Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show – 2004 (“Lose My Breath” & “Soldier”):
11. Brooklyn Concert – 2012 (“Diva” & “Crazy in Love”):
Featuring one of those chillingly amazing moments in which the Queen gazes over her loyal subjects at length in between “Diva” and “Crazy in Love” (~2:15).
12. Grammys – 2010 (“If I Were a Boy”):
She sang her anthem “If I Were a Boy,” which involved a surprising but welcomed mashup-cover of Alanis Morissette‘s “You Oughta Know.”
13. MTV Video Music Awards – 2011 (“Love on Top”):
Aka that time Beyoncé casually, beautifully announced she was pregnant with Blue at the end of her performance by opening up her jacket and rubbing her belly, and Kanye West flipped and bro’d out next to Jay Z, and Lady Gaga (as male alter-ego Jo Calderone) cheered in the background.
14. Michael Jackson Tribute Concert – 2011 (“I Wanna Be Where You Are”):
15. Billboard Music Awards – 2011 (“Run the World (Girls)”):
Featuring Les Twins and her awesome female backup dancers, the Queen and her hundred holographs brought it for a super energetic performance, complete with some aesthetically sick graphics. She was honored with The Billboard Millennium Award that year, too.