Human and digital and Beyoncé

Ok, confession time, what’s your favourite Beyoncé song? And don’t tell me you don’t have one, we all do. Or if not favourite, at least one that you find less irritating than the others. For me, “Halo”, not too much of a surprise there, I imagine. I’m not really into her style of music, I confess (I prefer Jay-Z, go figure), but I very much admire her talent and intelligence. Have you listened to the words of “Pretty Hurts”?

Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever’s worst
We try to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

And as far as technology innovators go, she’s way up there. The scenography of her Billboard Awards performance is spectacular. Surprising. Do you remember the digital and human dance that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago? It’s similar to that, in that the boundary between human and digital is being blurred. But we’re talking about a lot of colour, a lot of movement and a lot of sass.

Beyonce's Billboards Awards

Check it out:

It’s worth watching several times (even on silent, if you must), just for the backdrop effects. The first three minutes, anyway, after that the troupe of dancers and the fireworks take over.

To produce this, Beyoncé worked with New York-based ThinkBreatheLive, the geniuses behind Roger Waters’ “The Wall” tour projections. And her SuperBowl 2013 performance, also engineered by them, had some impressive projections. But not at this scale. It is exciting to think what this could be the beginning of, and to realize how much digital technology is even influencing how we consume live entertainment…


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