When Beyonce stunned the world with her visual album Lemonade back in April, it proved to be her most strikingly personal and political collection of music yet. Usually the mother how much are beyonce tickets of heartache on her pop-centric balladry and empowering anthems, Queen Bey had always positioned herself as the older sister with warm advice rather than the scorned wife with vengeance in her veins.
But her Formation World Tour - which arrived at Wembley Stadium last night (July 2) - scraps everything you thought you knew about Beyoncé's back catalogue. Yes, artists have always re-contextualised their songs to fit the current narrative of their latest piece, but the positioning of Bey's older material during this tour unlocked a whole layer that's been dormant under the polished production for years.
Beyonce, Formation World Tour, Wembley Stadium, London
One of Lemonade's most addictive but bitterest songs, 'Sorry', centres around her husband Jay Z's alleged infidelity, concluding with the now infamous line: "You better call Becky with the good hair." So for it to be followed by decade-old hit 'Irreplaceable' and that oft-chanted opening "To the left to the left, everything you own in a box to the left" adds weight to what was largely considered a more observational perspective.
This happens time and time again throughout the Formation world tour. Beyoncé ferociously growls through super-charged Jack White collaboration 'Don't Hurt Yourself', before linking it with the "I'll be damned if I see another chick on your arm" bite of 'Ring The Alarm'. The politically fired and fantastic 'Freedom' places the Black Lives Matter movement centre stage, pulling in Destiny's Child's classic hit 'Survivor' for an empowering conclusion