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We get it: Beyoncé is superwoman. She can perform complicated dance routines in high heels. She can rip off gale force vocals while running backwards and forwards. She can exaggerate her moves all the way to the back of Madison Square Garden, while emoting in close-up for the big screens stage left. She can cry on demand. She can hire a really good all-female band, and use a few male dancers as beefcake. She can pummel you with a strident Broadway ballad, and flatter your taste with a screwed and chopped interlude. She can do five costume changes. She can make the audience sing “Irreplaceable” all the way through. She can pin you back in your seat, powerless before her endless catalogue of slamming dance pop hits.
But can she struggle? This show is called The Beyoncé Experience, and she staked her claim to full divahood with regal disdain, haughty drama and extensive corporate branding opportunities (Armani Diamond perfume strips littered the hallways). Whether it’s Aretha or Liza, Whitney or Mariah, we like to see our divas struggle. Beyoncé might not be able to do that. As long as she’s this overpowering, why should she have to? —Ben WilliamsBeyoncé Subdues MSG With Merciless Onslaught of Hits