Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Jay Z surprises Beyoncé onstage at Wells Fargo Center

Here's what it's like, Philly, to attend the Church of Bey.

Jay Z surprises Beyoncé onstage at Wells Fargo Center

Gallery: Beyoncé performs at the Wells Fargo Center

Beyoncé performed a brilliant show Thursday evening at the Wells Fargo Center as part of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

As I described it to a friend, it was like attending the Church of Bey. People were decked out in heels, glitter, beautiful hair styles and risqué outfits. The concert was like having a massive girl's night out with 19,000 other Beyoncé fans. The venue was packed with mostly young females. I spotted a few sad-looking boyfriends waiting for their ladies outside of the bathrooms–what were they so upset about? They were about to see Beyoncé!

The show exceeded my expectations. This was my first time seeing Beyoncé in person, having been a "super fan" of hers for years. With ticket prices hitting upwards to $250, I opted for the $45 cheap seats and was honestly prepared to be disappointed. As someone who's partial to smaller, intimate venues where you can actually look a performer in the eye and feel like you’re part of the event, I'm rarely found at places like the Wells Fargo Center. But, it was Beyoncé, after all.

Mrs. Carter kept members of the massive crowd on their toes while awaiting her arrival. She aired multiple commercials for her H&M line, personal fragrance, and of course, Pepsi. It should be noted, however, that it wasn’t just all about Bey. The star also aired ads for Goodwill, who were present at the show accepting donations, and Chime for Change. This is the first time I had seen this at a live concert event and I think it should happen more often. Artists, take notes!

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When she finally rose from the under depths of the stage, the crowd went off. Like I said, she absolutely blew me away. I laughed, I cried, I felt like I was really a part of the show; even though I had mediocre seats. The light show, her stage presence (she flew across the crowd at one point), interaction with the crowd and booming, beautiful voice made it feel like the show was an intimate experience.

We made great friends with everyone seated around us and bonded over the experience. An older lady sitting next to us was so overcome with joy and emotion that she held onto my friend’s hand as they sang together for one of Beyoncé’s final songs. Fact: Beyoncé unites human beings.

She played all of the favorites like “Single Ladies,” “Countdown,” “Halo,” and “Freakum Dress” among others- absolutely everything a member of the Beyhive would want to hear. If anyone there wasn’t already a Beyoncé fan, he or she is now.

Of course we speculated prior to the show whether Jay Z would make an appearance or not. Well, he did; but not in a way you would expect. Rather than doing a live collaboration of “Crazy In Love” with his wifey, Jay popped on stage briefly to give Queen Bey a hug and kiss. You can watch in the video below. He had a few nights off–last night being one of them–from his "Legends of Summer" tour with Justin Timberlake. It should be noted that this tour is coming to Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 13.

Friday night, Beyoncé takes the stage in Atlantic City, N.J. at Boardwalk Hall–a venue that’s previously hosted Jay Z and Kanye’s "Watch the Throne" tour. Tickets are unfortunately sold-out but you can try your luck on StubHub and Craigslist. To relive the moment–or live a moment you were unable to have–check out Buzz Feed’s super accurate list: 44 Life-changing things that happen at a Beyonce concert.

Beyoncé will perform at the 2013 Budweiser Made in America festival in Philadelphia.

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Gabrielle Bonghi Philly.com
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