Antwanette Dyson couldn’t get tickets to see Beyoncé and Jay-Z in her hometown of Los Angeles. So she hooked up with her Instagram pal Devonte Owens of Charleston, S.C., and they scored tickets in Minneapolis. For $500 each.
“It’s Beyoncé,” said Owens, 25, like you don’t need any other reason or explanation.
She’s the Queen. Of pop. R&B. Hip-hop. All of popular culture. Of the world, if you ask Owens and many of nearly 40,000 people who showed up Wednesday night at U.S. Bank Stadium to see music’s richest power couple, the $900 million rap mogul Jay-Z and the $300 million Beyoncé.
“She’s been my idol since I was 4,” said Kjeanah Watkins, 17, of Rapid City, S.D.
“She could fill the stadium by herself; she doesn’t need Jay-Z,” said Natalie Conrad, 29, of Brooklyn Park. “She’s so powerful and successful. And so talented.”
“And empowering,” interjected Conrad’s boyfriend, Jordan Wickstrom. “She’s a great role model.”
It’s billed as the On the Run II Tour because the couple toured together in 2014 — though they didn’t visit the Twin Cities. Whatever you call the tour, “it’s the biggest concert of the year,” declared Owens, who also has tickets for the couple’s concerts in two other cities.
In a year in which the Twin Cities will host stadium shows by Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan, the Eagles/Jimmy Buffett, Journey/Def Leppard and Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are creating the biggest buzz.
“It’s definitely the concert of the year,” said Teegan Ebenhoh, 26, of Minneapolis.
Halle Bailey, 18, who opened the concert with her sister, Chloe, 20, knows about the bigness from the inside.
“This is surreal,” said half of Chloe X Halle, who are signed to Beyoncé’s record label. “I have to pinch myself that my sister and I are here.”
La Woody of Lakeville wasn’t quite ready to declare this tour, which is expected to gross $200 million from 48 stadium shows, as the concert of the year. “I’ll let you know after we see Bruno Mars,” she said. “My daughter is a fan. So I’m obligated to be here. I wouldn’t let her come downtown with just her friends.”
However, Madison Woody, 15, gets around to shows by Swift, Sheeran and Ariana Grande, among others.
“I’ve been listening to Beyoncé for the longest time and know all her songs,” said Madison.
Wait! Isn’t this the Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert? Wife and husband, officially billed as the Carters, as in Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Shawn Carter (his given name)?
Owens, of Charleston, S.C., didn’t care about seeing Jay-Z.
“I don’t like rap,” he said.
However, Wickstrom, 30, of Brooklyn Park, grew up on Jay-Z, who blew up big in the 1990s.
“I’ve been a Jay-Z fan since probably when I shouldn’t have been listening to him,” said Wickstrom, who was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of Jay-Z with the late rap hero Notorious B.I.G.
Part of the controversy about Jay-Z, 48, is that he got caught cheating on Beyoncé, 36. She sang about it on her landmark “Lemonade” album in 2016 and he expressed remorse on his 2017 album, “4:44.” They demonstrated their patched-up unity on this year’s joint album, “Everything Is Love.”
“I don’t know how you cheat on Beyoncé, the most beautiful woman in the world,” said Wickstrom. “It seems like they’ve worked past their problems.”
And, like the couple, Wickstrom worked out any problems he might have had with the concert. He raved about it afterward.
“The atmosphere was electric,” he said. “Easily one of the best I’ve been to, and I’ve seen the Stones, Pink, Kanye [West] and Kendrick [Lamar]. It’s nuts, but this absolutely exceeded my expectations in every way.
“I came here for Jay-Z and left with Beyoncé leaving the lasting impression. I’m a Bey-liever. From her outfit changes to her dancing to her singing, she’s just incredible. One of the greatest entertainers of our generation — possibly ever.”
Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719