Live review: Beyoncé at the O2, London

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Beyoncé live at the O2, London
Beyoncé live at the O2, London

Will history portray Beyoncé as a feminist? The woman who can bemoan a man who won't pay her telephone bills in the same breath as singing: "depend on no one else to give you what you want",  may have sent some mixed messages in the past, but the Mrs Carter Show is a statement of intent from a woman in charge of her own brand – and that includes being a wife, mother and global superstar.

The theme of empowerment runs throughout the show. The pre-gig build up includes a video for women's charity Chime For Change, for which Beyoncé is an ambassador. Then follows the Pepsi advert featuring the song Grown Woman ("I'm a grown woman / I can do whatever I want") before the show kicks off spectacularly with Run The World (Girls).

Sure, she might not be exploring bell hooks's theories surrounding plurality, she may not be quoting from the pages of The Female Eunuch but it is a show celebrating a strong and powerful woman – that woman is Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

It is with almost mechanic energy that she and her all-female band power through the set. The dancing is flawless; the vocals on-point, there isn’t a bum note to be found. Despite a set time of two hours, most of the songs only getting a verse and chorus – she has that many hits.

Maybe it's a testament to her that the biggest hits – Crazy In Love, Single Ladies – are saved for the end, but the show never feels lacking. The party never suffers the awkward moment when the DJ is too consumed by his own record collection that he forgets he's playing for a room of people who just want to dance.

You feel there's little Beyoncé hasn't had a hand in with the production. Her costumes vary from virginal white to fierce black and sequined cloaks, they each show the sides of Bey we have been used to seeing – Sasha Fierce v the shy Southern Belle Beyoncé and now Mrs Carter, the woman making a play for the queen of pop crown.

When performers surround themselves in such fanfare its often to mask their flaws – the parts where they can’t quite keep up – with Beyoncé it feels as if its there so that she has to up her game, so that she can still stand out.

And stand out she does. There's not another performer that can touch her right now. She's thrown down the gauntlet – let's see if anyone can take the crown from the newly-anointed Queen Carter.

Beyoncé's set list in full
Run The World
End Of Time
Flaws & All
If I Were A Boy
Get Me Bodied
Baby Boy
Diva
Naughty Girl
Party
Freakum Dress
I Care
I Miss You
Schoolin' Life
Why Don't You Love Me?
1+1
Irreplaceable
Love On Top
Survivor
Countdown (Video)
Crazy In Love
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Grown Woman
I Was Here
I Will Always Love You
Halo 

Watch Beyoncé videos

What did you think of the show? Let us know on Twitter @MusicOnVM or in the comments below.

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