Beyonce and Jay-Z
Rose Bowl

“I want to be out there in the rain with y’all” Jay Z yelled to the crowd before walking onto a catwalk 50 feet into the soaked crowd on Saturday night, giving out high fives and handshakes amid a steady downpour. 

Maybe you've heard the Carters' marriage is in trouble? Well, it certainly wasn't at the Rose Bowl. Even with the release of the remix to Beyonce’s “Flawless” earlier in the day — whose lyrics seem to hint toward occasional trouble in paradise — the pair seemed just great. (Solange did not appear to be on-hand.)


The show followed a loose plot, showcasing the highs and lows of the Carters’ relationship and massaging their biggest songs to serve a story. The slickly produced video interludes followed the couple on a fictional chase. The clips were pretty damn good, and called upon their A-list pals like Puff Daddy, Swizz Beatz and Don Cheadle. And, of course, there were constant wardrobe and set changes, all of it requiring precision timing.

For much of the show Jay yielded the spotlight to his wife and served as her hype man. His performance seemed a bit more freewheeling; he worked the crowd and shouted out NBA friends like Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. As for his song, he performed a combination of big hits and material from last year’s lukewarmly-received Magna Carta Holy Grail.

Credit: Parkwood Entertainment

Credit: Parkwood Entertainment

Beyonce’s songs featured the usual crisp, choreographed sequences that have marked her live shows for the past decade. Backed by a team of dancers and an all female backing band, Beyonce mostly stuck to the script. There were a few playful moments — “Drunk in Love” saw Jay wrap his arms around his wife. 

“Celebrate true love with us tonight,” Jay said, before set closer “Young Forever.” (Why does he keep insisting on closing shows with this tepid song?) The song featured previously unseen footage of the Carters living their lives. At the end of the 40-plus song set, the couple let their guard down a bit. They exchanged flirtatious smiles, glancing looks, and a huge hug and a kiss.

On a night where the weather didn’t cooperate, the couple’s show wasn’t perfect; that seemed to go along with the idea that their relationship isn't perfect, and in fact no relationship is perfect. 

Set list below 


Set list:

'03 Bonnie & Clyde
Upgrade U
Crazy in Love
Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix)
I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)
Tom Ford
Run the World (Girls)
Jigga My Nigga
Dirt Off Your Shoulder
Naughty Girl
Big Pimpin'
Ring the Alarm
On to the Next One
Baby Boy
U Don't Know
No Church in the Wild
Drunk in Love
Public Service Announcement
Why Don't You Love Me
Holy Grail
Beach Is Better
99 Problems
If I Were a Boy
Song Cry
Love on Top
Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
Niggas in Paris
Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
Pretty Hurts
Part II (On The Run)
Young Forever

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