RAVE: Beyoncé’s Class Act

Caroline Tufts

Beyoncé lived up to her Sasha Fierce alter-ego at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration on Monday morning with her dazzling performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

The Grammy Award-winning diva stole the show amidst political speeches, and patriotic performances by fellow artists Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor.

She approached her platform in front of the Capitol Building appearing far more reserved than usual, in an elegantly sheer black dress which was well chosen for such a significant national event. Though the early strains of the song were not sung with the ferocity that usually drips from the singer’s performances, her honorable restraint made her sound like an elegant Disney princess, and the understatement of her entrance marked her as a class-act.

As the song went on some of her usual spark shone through, and she belted out the classic song with a proud smile on her face and a gleam in her eyes. She emphasized notes that are usually rather flat, and let other commonly over-sung phrases stand for themselves, making her rendition stand out from a crowd of performances.

Yes, Beyoncé is a celebrity, and quite often celebrities have good performances. What marked this as a truly laudable event in the singer’s career was that the usually over-the-top songstress was able to step back, and acknowledge the gravity of the event. The Inauguration was not about Beyoncé, and her demure rendition, while stunning, was not overpowering; it was tasteful, and absolutely appropriate for the occasion.