All The Times Beyoncé Blew Our Minds With Live Performances

Photo: Larry Busacca/PW/WireImage.
When Beyoncé broke the internet — and the record for the most-liked post on Instagram — with her pregnancy announcement in February, the world had a reason to smile. She was expecting twins, and pretty much everyone combusted from excessive amounts of joy. I actually died when I heard the news, and I’m actually writing this from the afterlife. Anyway, there were about 99,000 people who weren’t as thrilled with the news as we were. It was all of the people who purchased 2017 Coachella tickets, the music festival that Beyoncé was supposed to headline. A few weeks after her epic pregnancy announcement, one of the event's producers released a statement that under doctor’s orders to “keep a less rigorous schedule,” she would not be able to fulfill her headlining duties. But to make up for it, she confirmed her spot at the 2018 event.
Now, with 2017 coming to a close, it’s been a whole six months since Coachella wrapped up its advance sale for 2018, allowing early birds to get on a layaway plan. They sold out in less than four hours, and the remaining tickets are probably going to do the same once they go on sale, likely in January. And if Beyoncé’s choreographer, JaQuel Knight, is right, the tickets are well worth the hurry. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he said that the upcoming gig was going to “change the game.” And when asked to give three words to describe the set, Knight provided four: “Amazing, beyond, iconic, life.”
If you’ve ever seen Beyonce perform live, you know this isn’t an exaggeration. Since I wasn’t one of the lucky people to get on the payment plan, I likely won’t be in attendance for this year’s event. Many of you are probably in the same boat. So, I think it’s only right to look back on some of Queen Bey’s most mind-blowing performances with the help of our friend YouTube.
1 of 9
“Ring the Alarm” MTV Music Video Awards (2006)
The coats. The choreography. The cops. This early performance of “Ring the Alarm” was evidence of Bey’s glow-up as a performer. She would only get better from here. But I still can’t get over the synchrony of her and all those dancers cranking their bodies like gears in unison.
2 of 9
The Beyoncé Experience (2007)
After her eponymous tour, Beyoncé released this DVD and the first time I saw it was the day I officially became a member of the Beyhive. It’s seriously too hard to pick any one song from this setlist, but her “Dangerously In Love” delivery was really beautiful.
3 of 9
“Run the World” Billboard Music Awards (2011)
If you watched Beyoncé’s Life Is But A Dream documentary, you know that Bey wasn’t so pleased with the outcome of this performance. She put it together on short notice and didn’t think she coordinated her choreography with the visual effects. But to the rest of us, it was truly wonderful.
4 of 9
“Love On Top” 2011 MTV Video Music Awards (2011)
These were better times. Jay-Z and Kanye West were friends. And Bey was belting out a love song with the glow of a big secret she was about to reveal to the world. She dropped the mic, as she should have because it was an A+ performance, and then unbuttoned her glittery jacket to reveal her baby bump to the world.
5 of 9
Super Bowl (2013)
This show was so good that the lights in the stadium literally shut off for a few moments after her set, prompting a short delay in the continuation of the game.
6 of 9
“Resentment” On The Run Tour (2014)
Who said Beyoncé never talked about cheating until Lemonade? This bonus track — about the hurt and anger that lingers after a lover’s betrayal — was released her on her 2006 album B’Day, but she didn’t perform it for the first time until her revue shows I Am… Yours in 2009. She only performed it a handful of times before it became part of the set list for her joint tour with the man the song is likely about, her husband Jay-Z.

Despite the time that passed, it’s clear that Bey was able to tap into those emotions for this performance. It still gives me goosebumps.
7 of 9
Medley Performance at MTV Video Music Awards (2014)
This will go down as one of the best live performances of all time for sure. Right before accepting the Vanguard award, Beyoncé unleashed a 14-minute medley performance of her entire self-titled album. If you really want to get into how great this was, check out this video of everyone else in the audience reacting to it.
8 of 9
“Formation” Super Bowl Halftime Show (2016)
After releasing her controversial single, “Formation,” Beyoncé performed it for the first time as one of the guest performers at the 2016 Super Bowl Halftime Show with Coldplay. She came hard with political imagery embedded in both the dance moves and her outfit. It was one of the most talked about moments of 2016 and set her up for the Formation World Tour.
9 of 9
“Love Drought” 59th Annual Grammy Awards (2017)
In her first performance since announcing her pregnancy, Bey proved that mamas still have it. She took over the Grammys with a full-on baby bump and didn’t miss as a beat as she ethereally sang ballads like “Love Drought.” She even floated in a chair while her husband looked on from the audience. We seriously don’t deserve her.

More from Pop Culture


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.