Written by Caballero Oscuro
Always an electrifying performer, Beyoncé pulls out all the stops in this exclusive live production filmed at the Wynn Encore resort in Las Vegas. Much more than just another engagement on her latest worldwide tour, this intimate performance captures Beyoncé in a classic Vegas revue conceived solely for this four-night engagement. That doesn't mean she's in a ballgown, immobile at a mic with a full orchestra behind her, but it does put her on a smaller than normal stage and provides her the opportunity to present an autobiographical tour of her song catalog with special emphasis on her latest release, I Am…Sasha Fierce.
Rather than start with a blaze of theatrics and dancers, Beyoncé opens the show with an acoustic segment that highlights her vocal range and stripped-down reworkings of some of her hits. Surprisingly, there's nary a backup dancer in sight until over a half hour into the show, at which point the choreography kicks for the balance of the performance in but never overshadows her soaring vocal fireworks.
While she shines on her own material, she also incorporates a few surprising covers throughout the show. There aren't many performers who would dare risk covering Anita Baker or Alanis Morissette, but Beyoncé handles chestnuts from both of them with her own powerful interpretations and even throws in a bit of Jackson 5 and scatting in tribute to Ella Fitzgerald for good measure.
The choreographed second half of the show also incorporates her musical biography, tracing her earliest days in Destiny's Child (complete with mention of their failed Star Search appearance) through their breakout success, her growth as a songwriter and solo performer, and her ongoing side career as a movie star. The Destiny's Child material is re-imagined for the performance, with her live all-girl band providing some welcome new colorings to the somewhat dated original tracks. Beyoncé provides commentary throughout the autobiography as she describes the significance of each of her songs, even touching on the shifting roster of performers in Destiny's Child, the role of her father in furthering her career, and alluding to her marriage to Jay-Z. It's an illuminating journey that provides fresh insight into the influences that have shaped and continue to guide her as a performer, and as such it's essential viewing for her fans.
Putting aside the glitz and autobiography, Beyoncé's performance here is nothing short of amazing. As she mentions in the bonus featurette, she always strives to give 100% in her performances and that dedication is on full display here. She's not just a pop star, she's a truly gifted vocalist and dedicated dancer who infuses this performance with so much passion and fire she seems on the verge of combustion at any moment. To witness her in this performance is to see an artist at the peak of her powers, a primal force of music unleashed on a fully enraptured audience.
The bonus featurette explores Beyoncé's concept for the show and records the superhuman efforts employed to pull it all together in a very tight window. The crew assembled in Vegas during the week leading up to the show to rehearse and refine the one-off show, and Beyoncé's touch is shown on everything from the set list to the stage design, further enforcing her dedication to presenting the best possible experience for her fans.
I Am…Yours is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and a 2 CD/1 DVD combo package.