"JAY Z/BEYONCE TICKETS! I GOT JAY Z/BEYONCE TICKETS"
There's a weird air whenever you mention "Beyoncé" and "concert" in unison. I've seen her twice, once in New Orleans and in her second Houston stop of last year, days before the release of Beyoncé. Attend and you feel like the air around you is almost blessed, and you've been gifted the opportunity to see her. Especially on this tour, where Queen Beyoncé, Ruler of All Things Pop Music, and that other guy who decided he was too good for the hyphen in his rap name are together like the 21st-century Sonny & Cher.
Walking around the outside of Minute Maid Park Friday, I began asking questions while catching fans dressed in Beyoncé regalia, the "BEYHIVE" on full activation. I jokingly asked these entertainment brokers about how much they were attempting to sell tickets for.
"For a nosebleed?"
"Well, those are like $200 but the ones I got are damn near VIP."
I wanted to scoff and laugh in his face, but he was dead serious. I even feigned as if I were going to reach into my pocket and attempt to buy the tickets off him but said nothing. I even asked him if he wanted to take a picture since I was writing an article about people attempting their way into the show.
"Fuck you," he told me and walked away.
Earlier in the afternoon I had begun scanning Ticketmaster, just to match the validity of whatever anyone would tell me at Minute Maid to what was going on online. Sure enough there it was in broad blinking code: $409.63 for VIP section tickets.
On a different site, one particularly made for the reselling of already-purchased tickets, someone attempted to sell a pair for $1,400. The highest? Twenty-two-hundred-bucks. Different messages trampled those "normal" updates with people trying to cash in on the demand to even see the show. "SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY" looked more like a giant stop signs. "HMU," the shorthand way of saying "hit me up," loomed so imposingly you'd have thought it was a statue erected by God himself.
If you couple that with the $80 parking closest to Minute Maid and you damn near have $500 spent just getting INSIDE to see the show. We're not even talking money in regards to buying merch, just getting past the lengthy security pat-downs and into a seat.
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I knew the score about this concert long ago.
Two weeks ago, I found myself in New York City, brimming with the idea of catching the show at MetLife Stadium purely out of curiosity. I skipped out and instead hopped on a plane back South, flatly saying certain things just weren't worth it.
And to be honest, seeing Jay Z and Beyoncé play like the Kennedys onstage for about three hours really doesn't feel like it. They're going to snicker and flirt with one another during "Drunk In Love," your Instagram feed the next morning will effectively rob you of the need to be there thanks to 15-second clips and photos and Vines and whatever else. By the end of it all, you're just sitting back wondering how much you saved yourself to skip all the hassle.
Jay Z solo is magnetic, but next to Beyoncé he feels like he's playing a side to her far more expressive and loud range. She shrieks and channels ideas of being hurt and scorned into a cover of Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor" that no doubt shocked every person in attendance who hadn't been tuned into Elevatorgate or those rumors that Jay has cheated on Beyoncé more than once.
Beyoncé doing any Lauryn Hill doesn't really feel authentic but when you see it, it just seems intriguing. Not because it's a challenge -- Beyoncé can do damn near anything at this stage of her career -- but because it still feels like something you should see. The fire, the rage, the handclaps, the applause, the intimate moments near the close: the On the Run tour walks and talks like a family talent show with little dabbles of sex and minor intrigue.
When you're sitting in your chair, whether it be from the very top of Minute Maid to the floor, you're stuck watching something you're supposed to like and fawn over. Blue Ivy's baby pictures, that IV tattoo that symbolizes their wedding rings, all of these images that is supposed to remind you that they're human yet live in another world of human life -- there's not a flaw to be found.
It's fascinating how high people raised the bar to even get here, and how intriguing it is to set ourselves up to get "life" in three hours what we don't in a lifetime. This is not to say fun was had at On the Run or that people got what they paid for. It's just an incredible feat of suspending reality to soak in someone else's, especially one that declares from the opening "THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE" and politely shoves the "NOT" away at the end.
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