Another minute, another few early highlights from Beyoncé’s Renaissance world tour opener in Stockholm, Sweden, today, May 10. This time, dancing robot arms and brilliant era-bending mash-ups.
During her performance of “Cozy,” Beyoncé showed off some of the tour’s outrageous and elaborate stagecraft and props. This bit involved two swinging robot arms outfitted with two big rectangles that perfectly framed and moved with Beyoncé as she sauntered through the Renaissance highlight.
Later, the robot arms were used again to wild effect, scanning Beyoncé’s white cape with a light that caused a stunning stained glass print to appear. Fittingly, Beyoncé then launched into “Church Girl.”
Elsewhere in the show — which opened with the first live performance of “Dangerously In Love” in over a decade — Beyoncé delivered a clever mash-up of some old and new favorites. She started to perform “Sweet Dreams” from 2008’s I Am… Sasha Fierce. But as the song’s guttural bass synth swelled, Bey deftly switched up the lyrics and began to sing the hook from “Alien Superstar” off Renaissance: “I’m too classy for this world/Forever I’m that girl.”
This isn’t the only mash-up/medley in the setlist so far, either. Earlier in the concert, Beyoncé blended her 4 ballad “1+1” with two R&B classics: Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Goin’ Down” and Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind.” (Beyoncé portrayed James in the 2008 film Cadillac Records and recorded her own rendition of “I’d Rather Go Blind.”)
The European leg of the Renaissance tour will continue through May and June. Beyoncé will kick off the North American leg on July 8 in Toronto, with shows scheduled all the way through Sept. 27 in New Orleans.
Beyoncé released Renaissance last July, marking her seventh studio album and first proper LP of all new solo material since 2016’s Lemonade. (In the interim, she did, of course, release Everything Is Love with Jay-Z and her live album Homecoming while also spearheading the soundtrack for the live-action remake of The Lion King.) Earlier this year, Beyoncé won four Grammys for Renaissance, making her the most decorated Grammy winner of all time — though controversially, she was once again shut out in the three major categories, Record, Song, and Album of the Year.