Jul 15 2011 by Denis Brown, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
R&B MEGASTAR Beyonce knows how to make an entrance.
After emerging from a giant pyramid amidst exploding fireworks, the US siren, who looked impossibly tall in a skimpy, spangly outfit, immediately launched into massive hit Crazy in Love.
The infectious opener had most of the 60,000 people filling the main arena for what was arguably the festival’s highlight, joining in with the “ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh” vocals.
Flanked by doppelganger dancers and an all-female band decked out in white, the charismatic 29-year-old had the huge crowd eating out of her hand for most of the 60-minute set.
Only when veering into ballad territory, as she did with a smouldering cover of Etta James’ At Last, hot on the heels of a crowd-pleasing Destiny’s Child hits’ medley, did the B-bomb lose momentum.
Earlier in the set, Beyonce had suddenly walked offstage without any explanation – perhaps feeling the chill – leaving one of her backing singers, Chrissie, in charge of a filler slot.
“I can see some very wonderful men in Scotland tonight,” yelled Chrissie, presumably not referring to the rows of blokes relieving themselves against fences fringing the arena, a common T sight.
Strutting back onstage, ‘B’ gazed adoringly across the sea of expectant faces before delivering a slow-burning cover of Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon, which took many a long time to recognise.
It was surely the largest number of young female fans ever to grace the main arena, all incredibly vocal, some verging on hysterical, and most apparently single.
When Beyonce asked to see all the single girls in the audience during a preamble to Single Ladies, females climbed onto friends’ shoulders for a ring-finger waving mass singalong.
Crowd participation was contagious, with a chain reaction of uninhibited singing and booty-shaking rippling across the arena, but not just confined to the fairer sex.
One fan standing next to me – easily mid-30s and sporting blue board shorts with green wellies – sang his heart out with every song, clearly not caring who saw him indulging in his guilty pleasure.
As Queen B geared up for final number, new single Halo – telling fans that main headliners Coldplay were some of her “favourite people in the world” – as if on cue, shafts of sunlight illuminated menacing rain clouds.
Job done, a beaming B-bomb did a few more “thank you, thank you” laps before shaking hands with a few lucky star-struck fans who looked as if they had been blessed.