Beyonce Knowles
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The Beyonce Experience

If you like women, you’ll love Beyoncé’s new live show. There’s a veritable cast of thousands of ’em in The Beyoncé Experience, which bowed July 7 in Memphis (the tour continues throughout the summer; see the full schedule at Beyoncé’s website: a trio of curvy backup singers, a half-dozen dancers, and, not to be neglected, a 10-piece band. (The only dudes allowed on stage were four additional hoofers.) It’s as if Cecil B. DeMille lived long enough to direct a rock & roll go-go epic about Amazons, a revue spectacular enough in its colossal divadom to put off proclamations of — it’s all right, we’ve all felt it — Beyoncé fatigue. At least for a couple of months, till her tour has safely passed through town.

Though you’d figure she’s as mass-appeal as it gets, at least two-thirds of Beyoncé’s opening-night crowd fit into a fairly specific demographic — women over 25 — thus making the sing-along of ”Irreplaceable” a glorious sound to behold. When the tour hits cities with larger gay-male turnouts, medics should be on hand: The true defibrillator moment, all freakum dress changes aside, is ”Flaws and All,” during which Beyoncé weeps real tears (nightly, according to reports from earlier overseas shows) while apologizing for being such a bitch. That’s a rare campy, melodramatic performance in an otherwise energized two hours, wherein the star jubilantly puts the kibosh on lesser divas’ claims that it’s impossible to dance and croon live simultaneously. And God created woman, indeed. A-

The Beyonce Experience
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