By Courtney E. Smith
For her 15 minute VMA Video Vanguard winning performance, Beyoncé put on a small spectacular taken from her segments of the On the Run Tour, adding up to be a full performance of her 2013 self-titled album. Starting with “Mine,” and a multi-colored, neck-high leotard, she kicked off the night’s most anticipated performance by welcoming MTV to her world.
As expected, Bey transitioned through a medley of songs from her self-titled album released at the end of 2013, including the Kate Bush/The Knife inspired visuals of “Haunted” with the tiniest nod to “Pretty Hurts” imaginable, a quick moment of “No Angel,” “Jealous” and her candy-covered single that will drop any second now “Blow.”
The music kept coming, with a snippet of the blockbuster single “Drunk in Love” showcased alongside a sea of gold lamé butts and an audience sing-along to “surfbordt” and the camera’s first cut away to Jay Z and Blue Ivy in the audience, the sultry tease of “Rocket” performed with only Bey and a chair, the track that made Bill O’Reilly so mad “Partition,” a very fast transition through “Superpower” and then possibly the first ever mention of the word feminism on the VMAs with “Flawless***.”
The latter track was marked by an addition of the “billion dollars on the elevator” remix line and swiftly followed by a quick second of “Yonce” straight into the On the Run tour super-touching finale “Blue” complete with family footage that’s been rolling on the tour.
It wasn’t the performance finale, even though it caused Beyoncé to appear to tear up. Instead, she commanded a sing-along to “XO,” demanding the whole crowd get on their feet. Taylor Swift and Lorde were happy to oblige and sing along, each in their own unique way.
Perhaps the most unexpected thing about the performance was the lack of costume changes for Beyoncé, necessitated by her required presence on stage for the duration — not a problem during the tour.
She was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard statue by her husband and daughter. Beyoncé said she didn’t have much to say and wished the crowd good night after saying, “I love you,” to her family.
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