It’s no secret Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour was groundbreaking. With 56 shows in 17 different countries, it was unlike anything anyone had ever seen. Over the past few months, I’ve watched as people dressed up to the tens, failed the mute challenge (multiple times), and made eye contact with Queen Bey herself. And I patiently counted down till September 24th.
When Beyoncé first came out with Renaissance, I heard “THIQUE” in a SoulCycle class about a month after its release. And that was the moment I started my own renaissance.
Going into my senior year of high school, I had lots to worry about and to look forward to. My personal life was a mess and my driving purpose was getting into college. All my hard work was about to pay off but I was still miserable.
The first time I listened to the album all the way through, I was in my best friend’s car. They were driving me back to school after a concert we went to, and although, I had listened to a couple of the songs on the album, I was on aux, had a sinus infection, and was too tired to DJ properly. So we started with “I’M THAT GIRL.”
By the time we got to “ALIEN SUPERSTAR” all my symptoms had magically evaporated into thin air and I felt as if I just had a quad shot. We were screaming the lyrics we didn’t know and the car was shaking from the booming bass.
Soon after that, Renaissance was the only thing I was listening to. I knew all the lyrics, transitions, and beats by that same December. And every time I listened to it, I really listened. I embraced the lyrics (the ones where she talks about being a bad b*****) and I could never stop losing myself in the song.
Beyoncé’s confidence in this album is what really meant the most to me. My first partner dumped me that December and I was really going through it. I didn’t really know who I was without them and I was grieving the fact that this part of my life was over. “HEATED” was my anthem during that time. I screamed the lyrics at myself in the mirror for three months until I actually believed them. After that, I really was drinking my water and minding my biz.
It was officially “PURE/HONEY” season. I had a new life now, with new friends, new interests, and the same album. I had made my decision about college and I was feeling and looking good. The rest of my senior year flew by in a flash and Beyoncé officially announced her tour. My grad gift was a ticket to her show in Houston.
“SUMMER RENNAISAICE” was my song this summer (shocker). I traveled all over the world, learned more about myself, and absolutely devoured every TikTok about the tour. It was always at the front of my mind, to the point where even my mom had to tell me to stop talking about it.
I started a new chapter with “MOVE” when I moved into college. A new environment and community were just what I needed and DC quickly became my home. During the first few weeks, I strutted around campus, headphones blasting music and I counted down the days to the Houston date (or my baptism as I called it).
“COZY” was on repeat as I got ready in my airport hotel room for my less-than-24-hour-Beyoncé-bender in Houston. I planned my hair, makeup, and outfit for weeks beforehand and I was so ready.
I felt accepted and free before I even got to the stadium. Funnily enough, my Uber driver had gone to the concert the previous night, so we bonded and sang the whole album at the top of our lungs during the 40-minute drive. A full circle moment, if I may say so.
I got to my seat and everyone around started cheering and snapping at me, telling me apparently I had arrived. Yes, I did look amazing that night. I embraced my inner “CHURCH GIRL” that night. I felt loved by people I had never met before, welcomed by everyone’s unity, and found peace in a crowd. I wasn’t afraid to let loose all the stress, heartbreak, and pain through the lyrics. Beyoncé delivered a crazy performance that night and I spent the rest of the night in awe.
Three weeks later she announced the Renaissance film. A final gift of this era and probably the closing act of my rebirth. But I can’t wait for Act II.