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Renaissance: My first Beyoncé Concert

I’m an OG fan of Beyoncé. I have been a fan of hers for what seems like my entire life. I’ve been riding with her since we were all waiting excitedly for the “Say my name" video to drop to see who the new members were. I’m lowkey still a lil’ salty about DC trolling us, but I digress.

Over the last few years I have been doing the work to shift from a scarcity to abundant mindset. With that in mind, when the tour was announced, I decided that it was time I treated myself to the Beyoncé experience. If you read my other Beyoncé blog, then it would seem that the universe conspired to make it happen.

Now let’s get into my first Beyoncé experience. My friend Bev and I decided that we would see Beyoncé as part of our birthday celebration. She and I leave in different cities so we thought Tampa was a good middle ground. Last minute I decided I didn’t want to drive and the airlines were acting really unreliable around the departure date, so I decided to book an Amtrak train from South Florida.

It was actually a really chill experience. The train had wifi and other than a few delays caused by other trains, I got there within 30 minutes of the scheduled arrival time. Bev and her friend D picked me up at the station and we mad-dashed it to hotel so we could make it to Raymond James Stadium for the concert.

By the time we checked in, we made quick work of getting ready, then squeezed in a bit of tik-toking and pregaming. We made it to our seats just in time to get settled. Beyoncé was her own opener (BOSS moves) and came out to a song that I’ve been singing since it was on the Survivor album Dangerously in Love.

The two hours that followed were amazing. I wish I had more photos and footage for you, but I’m definitely practicing mindfulness and being present in the moment. If only I could show you my memories. (If you want to support my blog and goal to get a cameraperson, you can follow the link at the bottom of the page to support).

2023 was actually the year of music. I unexpectedly have been to several concerts this year and have remembered how hot outside is in Florida. Lesson learned, I ordered a rechargeable neck fan from Amazon. I also had the obligatory foldable fan for the song Heated. I thought the heated fan would be an accessory. Honey, no. Although I stood most of the show, a few times I sat, just because it was cooler below.

It was so hot, I saw Beyonce wipe sweat off her face. Beyonce is infamous for the usage of her fans, but they were no match to the Florida humidity. At one point a stranger offered me $20 bucks for my foldable fan, and being the entrepreneurial person that I am, I took some photos with the fan before selling it.

Now, to be honest. I think I pre-gamed a little too hard. By the end of the show, I was letting Bev and D take the lead as I was a lil tipsy. And that’s how I ended up in a strangers car after the concert. Bev and D were in charge of the transportation to and from the stadium. As our hotel was relatively close to the stadium, rideshares kept skipping our requests. I sat to the side as I collected myself. After a few moments, Bev and D said they’d found a ride.

We follow a man to his Elantra. I ask is this the uber? They say no. He’s a guy offering rides. When I tell you I sobered up REAL QUICK. Bev got in the front passenger side and D got in the backseat behind her, leaving me the seat behind the driver. Before I got in the car I whisper hissed to D, “Open your door!” She was puzzled for a minute, and I repeated “Open your door!” trying not to be heard by the driver, but also trying to make my eyes as expressive as possible. She picked up what I was putting down and opened the door to make sure that there wasn’t a child lock on the door. Satisfied, I got in the car.

The driver started the car and rolled down the windows. Did I mention how hot it was? We asked for the A/C to be put on but the A/C was blowing hot. As someone born in Florida, I don’t do heat well. I don’t make the rules. After 2 min and the A/C wasn’t blowing any colder… I let my window down. Which was a sweet relief… that lasted all of 5 minutes before it started to rain.

Mind you, I am an experienced traveler (and woman) so I have already text photos of the inside of this car and the back of the driver’s head, description of the make and model of the vehicle, shared my location with two points of contact (one local, one out of state) to say that I am in a car with a stranger and for them to request our safe word and Proof of life in 20 minutes or call the cops.

At first it was just a light drizzle. Again as a native Floridian… a lil rain ain’t never hurt nobody and the rain is preferable to the heat. Until a big truck speeds past and sprays the passenger side with water. At that point we all close our windows. I rest my eyes for a moment and open my eyes to a all the windows foggy and the blurry lights of honking cars passing us.

I let my window down immediately and tell Bev in the front seat to turn on the defogger. Bev says she doesn’t know how, and I say it’s the windshield one. At this point, I’m trying to remain calm. Because this man is driving us and cannot see thru the damn windshield and Tampa is not a city of safe drivers. After a few moments, the windows defog and we can see. Again, our hotel was only 15 minutes from the stadium so a lot happened in a short amount of time.

We zelled this man the money and quietly exited the car as we reflected on our poor decision making.

But you know what. We made it, Beyonce was wonderful and we had a great time.

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