Beyoncé is, without a shadow of a doubt, a tremendously talented and genuinely important artist. The first black woman to headline the main stage at Coachella, Beyoncé commands respect and she’s a strong role model for people from all walks of life. The woman is an inspiration.
That said, I chose not to watch her Coachella set (besides the opening “Crazy in Love” from afar — gotta love that brass part). With her set conflicting with that of X Japan, I was faced with a dilemma. Not exactly Sophie’s choice, but a very real decision all the same.
Here’s the thing: I knew in advance that Beyoncé would not disappoint. After canceling last year, she was always going to put together a show for the ages. I knew that the stage show would be spectacular, that she would sound great, that there would be scores of dancers onstage with her and the whole thing would look amazing, and even, like everyone else, that Destiny’s Child would reunite. I could have tried to guess the setlist and be 90 percent correct. And after watching the YouTube footage, I was right. It’s not that Beyoncé is predictable, by any means at all, but she’s sure-as-shit reliable. When you boil it all away, though, how much you enjoy Beyoncé’s music is still going to have a big say in how much you enjoy her gig. And while I have no moral issues with polished and stylized R&B, I wanted something more on Saturday night.