Beyoncé and Jay Z’s ‘On the Run’ tour: 10 predictions

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By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Wed Apr 30 2014
Toronto’s summer lineup of music heavyweights — Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, One Direction, Drake — went up a dozen notches Monday as Beyoncé and Jay Z announced they’d hit the city in July.
It will be the first time the married couple, who have often collaborated on tracks, have ever launched a hand-in-hand tour.
But, since Beyoncé performed in Toronto just last December, what will be new about this go-round? The Star takes a stab at 10 things fans can expect from the “On the Run” tour.
1) A criminal undertone
When the tour’s name was released, many were confused. Neither Beyoncé nor Jay Z have an album or song that sounds remotely like “On the Run.”
However, those up on their hip-hop trivia know that Beyoncé and Jay Z’s first song together was 2002’s “’03 Bonnie and Clyde.” In the music video the pair play culprits who flee to Mexico in a silver convertible.
In terms of execution, “On the Run” may allude to a set list that draws from the couple’s early days in music, or a more literal, felonious theme to the concert’s production.

2) Blue Ivy’s first live performance

At 2 years old, Blue Ivy Carter has already starred in a music video and been sampled on her mom’s No. 1 hit album. What’s next?
Well, since both mom and dad will be touring North America, there’s a good chance the tiny star will make a cameo on stage for the eponymous song “Blue (feat Blue Ivy).” Even if she’s not on stage, photographers will likely find baby Blue swaddled in her parents arms after the show.
3) A Drake cameo
It’s not a stretch to think that Toronto’s very own could take the stage alongside Bey. The pair collaborated on “Mine” from Beyoncé’s most recent album, and Drake is clearly a fan, having released “Girls Love Beyoncé” in 2013, which samples lyrics from “Say My Name.”
Even if Drake doesn’t show, he may turn the tables and bring her out at OVO fest, his annual two-day music festival at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre that features a who’s who of hip-hop elite. It’s not out of the question; after all, Jay Z has stopped by in the past as a surprise act.
4) General naughtiness
Beyoncé’s go-to theme in her music has always been girl power and feminism, as demonstrated in “Run the World (Girls),” “Flawless” and “If I Were a Boy.”
However, as of late, her theme-du-jour has been blatant, unabashed sex. Maybe it’s an effort to remain a sex symbol after giving birth, similar to Nelly Furtado’s 2006 release of her promiscuous album “Loose” after her own pregnancy.
Beyoncé’s new album is rarely tongue-in-cheek when referencing her bedroom goings-on with Jay Z, in songs such as “Rocket” and “Blow.” Since he’ll be there too, things will probably get a little PG-13.
5) Updated set list
When Beyoncé was in Toronto last December, just days after she dropped her surprise album, she only performed one new song, “XO.” This time, fans will undoubtedly hear more fresh tracks.
During the UK leg of the Mrs. Carter Show, Beyoncé treated fans in London with performances of several new songs: “Partition,” “Blow,” “Heaven,” “Haunted,” “Drunk in Love,” “XO,” “Flawless,” and “Yoncé.” Being the perfectionist she is, Bey likely used the show as a trial run for her summer tour.
6) Passing the mic
Can Beyoncé fans sing? Usually no, and it’s a fact that she likes to exploit. Bey often passes her microphone to fans in the midst of a ballad to finish the lyrics. Needless to say, it’s always entertaining.
7) Queen Bey takes flight
It’s become a Beyoncé staple to fly at shows. Last time she was in Toronto, she soared over the crowd in a sequined midnight blue bodysuit, and she has previously performed entire songs while comfortably dangling above her fans.
There’s really no doubt as to whether Queen Bey will take flight. The real question: will Jay?
8) Surprises
Forecasting a Beyoncé concert is a little like predicting an M. Night Shyamalan film; you know there will be a twist, you just don’t know what.
Remember, this is the woman who kept a 14-song album — each with its own music video — completely secret from the public until she dropped it on iTunes. The “On the Run” tour would have had a similar effect had it not been exposed weeks ago in gossip publication Page Six.
9) Found footage
Bey’s last album was intimate. She touched on her miscarriage, the dark side of her pageant days and insecurity in her marriage. In music videos, these themes were often shown through family videos, including a pre-Destiny’s Child Beyoncé playing in the backyard with sister Solange.
Similar footage was used in her self-directed autobiographical documentary, Life is But a Dream, which premiered on HBO last year.
Since making the cover of TIME’s “100 Most Influential” issue, Bey will likely try harder than ever to keep up her persona as your typical 32-year-old mom from Houston who just happens to be the highest paid black artist of all time.
10) Tough to get seats
The Air Canada Centre sold out last time Beyoncé was in Toronto. Fortunately, diehard fans have a number of ways to snag early seats for her Rogers Centre show on July 9.
A Wednesday, April 30 Facebook presale opens up at 10 a.m., and a Thursday, May 1 sale is available for Live Nation members. Tickets open to the general public on Friday, May 2 at 11 a.m.
Tickets range from $52 for an upper-level seat to $270 for general admission, but prices are subject to change.

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