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BET Experience 2013: Five things we learned from Beyoncé's show

June 29, 2013|By Mikael Wood
  • Beyonce on the opening night of her Mrs. Carter Show tour last month in Belgrade, Serbia.
Beyonce on the opening night of her Mrs. Carter Show tour last month in Belgrade,… (Yosra El-Essawy / Associated…)

The force of nature that is Beyoncé rained down upon Staples Center on Friday night, kicking off both the North American leg of her Mrs. Carter Show tour and the weekendlong BET Experience festival.

Pop & Hiss was on the scene and will have a full review of the show later Saturday. (We're still getting glitter out of our hair.) For now, here are five things we learned from the concert.

1. Beyoncé still believes in the mash-up. At a moment when most of her A-list pop peers have largely left behind that early-'00s novelty -- in which two familiar songs are combined into a surprising new one -- she has several of them in her show, including a fusion of her "If I Were a Boy" with the Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" and a version of "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" with a verse from "Movin' on Up," the theme song from TV's "The Jeffersons."

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2. Fall back, Willow Smith: No one whips her hair like Beyoncé, who relied throughout Friday's concert on a number of electric fans stationed around the stage to keep her long locks blowing in dramatic fashion. She even had one set up on a smaller secondary stage in the middle of the arena.

3. This is a woman who likes her bass loud. In "Run the World (Girls)," my eyeballs were literally vibrating.

4. Though she performed it at gig last month in Belgium, "Standing on the Sun" -- one of a handful of tunes expected to feature on Beyoncé's upcoming album -- didn't make it on to the set list at Staples. Perhaps the singer pulled it after the leak this week of what appears to be the studio version of the song.

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5. Mrs. Carter is a fine host: Her guests at Staples Center included Kobe Bryant, Katy Perry and her two Destiny's Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, both of whom she shouted out before plowing through the group's "Survivor." (Lots of hair-whipping during that one.) After the show, Sia, the Australian singer and songwriter, tweeted a picture of herself at Staples and wrote, "Oh em gee!!!!!! Most incredible performer on the planet."


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Twitter: @mikaelwood


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