Beyoncé performed a 40-song set to rapturous crowds at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta over the weekend.

From the minute she appeared on the stage and said, “Atlanta, I love you,” Beyoncé’s final show on Aug. 14, which wrapped up a three-day run at Mercedes-Benz stadium, showered the capacity crowd with a joyous celebration of love.

In an elaborate hooded silver dress, surrounded by sparkle-clad dancers, Beyoncé treated the bejeweled, hat-wearing, fan-waving audience with a slow buildup of ballads for the first 30 minutes that included “Dangerously in Love,” “Flaws and All” and “1+1” (while perched on top of a gorgeous metallic piano), and “I Care,”  from her fourth studio album, before eventually launching into power ballads like “I’m That Girl,” “Cozy,” and “Alien Superstar” from her Renaissance album.

Several musical interludes allowed the 41-year-old singer to change into a new outfit – more than eight costumes if memory serves – each more spectacular and elaborate than the last and incorporating her signature thigh-high boots, futuristic sunglasses, and cowboy hats.

During “Energy,” the educated crowd complied with her signature command, “Everybody on mute” with total silence – a pause that seemed like forever, but was really only about four seconds. After the music resumed, it seemed to throw the crowd into a higher gear as she flowed into “Break My Soul,” which included a nod to Madonna’s hit “Vogue.”

Brian Boyce, a University of Tennessee graduate student who is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, bought a VIP package in February for Saturday’s concert that allowed him floor access. At times, he said, he was within 20 feet of the singer, but not throughout the concert as she moved rapidly to the left, right, and down the middle of a long runway.

“I had seen her in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010 and I was front and center, so I felt like I needed to be there this time,” Boyce said. “But from where I was, I couldn’t see her all the time, which was fair, because she was all over the stage.”

On Monday, Boyce, and his friends, Jared Edward-Lumy and Zariyah Pegas, both from Trinidad and Tobago, enjoyed her final performance from a suite, which afforded him the opportunity to see the entire spectacle, especially the elaborate visuals on the stage, thanks to giant screens that measured 50 feet high and 200 feet across.

Boyce and Edward-Lumy said they thoroughly enjoyed both experiences and that it had fulfilled a 15-year promise they made with each other to see the legendary singer in concert.

“From having posters of Beyoncé on the walls of my room as a child to actually seeing her in person was amazing,” Edward-Lumy said. “During the concert, we paused and looked at each other and said, ‘This is actually happening.’ I got to experience it with my oldest and best friend, which made it even better.”

The large screen at Beyoncé’s Renaissance concert held Aug. 11,12 and 14 ensured the crowd would not miss anything.

Boyce said while being on the floor offered him a once-in-a-lifetime experience, seeing the entire performance from a bird’s eye view made him appreciate even more the technical prowess that Beyoncé and her cast and crew displayed during the 2.5-hour concert.

“You can tell that she is involved in everything,” he said. “She knows every cue, and probably knows all the dancers’ cues as well. It was enthralling.”

Pegus said her favorite part of the concert was during “My Power” and “Black Parade,” when Beyoncé’s 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, joined her on stage to show off her dance moves. 

While Blue Ivy, clad in military garb, strutted down the stage with a cadre of dancers, Beyoncé followed while perched on a huge silver tank-like apparatus that swayed back and forth with her every move.

“Blue Ivy was so good and was so professional,” Pegus said. “She is a great dancer.”

The Monday audience got a special bonus with three songs that hadn’t been in the rotation since early May, and never in the states – a medley that included “Thique,” “All up in Your Mind,” and “Drunk in Love.”

Beyoncé mentioned to the concertgoers that they were the loudest crowd on tour, and that they deserved a little extra love. And speaking of extra, preliminary numbers indicate that more than 150,000 people were in attendance during the three-day run.

In short, the concert was a visual spectacle, with tight transitions, an energetic dance crew, larger-than-life props (like a silver metallic horse she rode until being floated off the stage at the end of the night), beautiful costumes and a 40-song set list that reminded everyone of the longevity of her storied career.

Beyoncé is now moving  south and west on her tour, with stops in Tampa, St. Louis, Seattle, Glendale, Ariz., and concluding Sept. 27 in New Orleans. 

Cathy Cobbs covers Dunwoody for Reporter Newspapers and Rough Draft Atlanta. She can be reached at