The fourteenth of May had been a much anticipated date for some couple months. Forget my birthday which was only three days before; May 14th was a much more special occasion. I woke up on the Saturday morning in exclusively my own company. My parents were out of town for three weeks and my extended relatives whom I lived with were busy for the day. These were circumstances unfamiliar to me, but being this alone was a long-awaited opportunity to enjoy some peace.
I lounged around the house until about two in the afternoon when it was still too many hours until departure time, but I was overly keen to get ready. With Lemonade flowing through speakers, I spent an hour dressing up and then down, fluctuating from outfit to outfit before reaching one that provided both comfort and confidence. After some waiting in my monochromatic apparel, the shadows and sunshine from the windows eventually began to coincide, alerting me that it was around five o’clock. I walked down the driveway carrying an envelope to be opened later that night— that which would finally release the accumulation of hope and excitement from the past several weeks.
Pasadena was a long drive. Surrounded by my mid-twenty year old aunts and my favorite teenage cousin, I watched the cityscape move against the pink skies until the freeway view transitioned into that of a neighborhood. The houses were all colonial-styled, grand and unheard of in Orange County. It feels like I’m walking through premeditated IKEA rooms was my recurring thought as my aunt’s friend gave us a tour of both floors. We reached the outside where a French bulldog puppy guided me whilst running to his brother: the largest and loudest dog I have ever witnessed in my life. His name was Bane and he had a garage to himself because sitting down he was taller than me. I could already tell the evening was playing out well: I remembered how much I loved dogs and now life too.
The sun started to set about an hour later which was when we decided to drive to the venue. Just one crosswalk brought us to the giant, illuminated rose sign, beneath it the words “Formation” plastered onto a billboard. My cousin and I parted from the rest, anxious to find our seats and a little scared that we would miss the very first crowd eruption of the night.
Timing has never perfected itself for me in my life until that moment… The lights shut off, yet I could still sense my position through the immense vibrations of screams sweeping the stadium. In a matter of seconds, images of orchids blossomed into the arena via the Jumbotrons and Beyoncé walked onto the stage accompanied by her lead dancers. For what felt like crazy hours in only a matter of minutes she delivered the vocals and production that made her incomparable to any other artist. With every song, empowerment flowed through the atmosphere; through the women dancing beside me; through the outstanding set, choreography, costumes, and storyline—featuring giant typography emphasizing her infamous words like: “Dust to side chicks,” and “God is God, I am not.” Lemonade mixed with old favorites provided the mass of fans with a night of bliss and emotion. Months of patient anticipation rewarded me with arguably one of the best nights of my life.
It was hard to walk away from someone so ethereal while she was in the middle of singing “Halo”, but we knew traffic would be a colossal mess so we ran to the exit gates where we could still hear the crowd finishing the song. It is likely that we walked two miles through numbered grass lots before reaching our designated pick-up destination, but I remember singing my favorite tracks to my cousin and appreciating all of the night’s events while skipping through the sidewalks and roadsides at twelve that morning.
I don’t have any personal pictures or videos of the concert as I wanted to enjoy the night without being on my phone, but I really recommend watching her VMA medley as you can really sense her vocal and performance abilities in this twenty-minute condensed version of the Formation tour.