Beyoncé Returns to the Stage With a ‘Renaissance’ Spectacle

They came from Iceland, Portugal, Switzerland, Detroit. Dressed in “alien superstar” chic — rhinestone boots and disco-ready, glittery cowboy hats — a huge crowd gathered on Wednesday at the Friends Arena, their cheers reaching an almost deafening pitch as a woman gradually emerged from below, lights bouncing off the sequins on her outfit.

Beyoncé was back onstage.

The singer, style icon and heroine of the global BeyHive fan community is on the road solo for the first time in seven years with her Renaissance World Tour, which opened on Wednesday in Sweden with elaborate visuals but with unusual physical restraint from Beyoncé herself.

Onstage at the 50,000-capacity arena in Stockholm, she appeared flanked by dancers and backed by a live band, performing for three hours before a giant screen that displayed a constantly morphing tableau that was part retrofuturism and part disco fantasia. At one point, the 41-year-old artist traded dance moves with a pair of giant robot arms;…

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This article was written by Alex Marshall and Ben Sisario and originally published on