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Music Review

Beyoncé proves herself worthy at TD Garden

Beyoncé is a singular presence, and if one of her peers in Top-40 pop works harder than she does, it does not show during her performances.Robin Harper/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment via AP/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images

“The Mrs. Carter Show” is a curious name for Beyoncé’s new tour. On one hand it implies a deep love and pride to be married to Jay-Z, the rapper and mogul who was born Shawn Carter.

But there is also no denying that Beyoncé Knowles is her own woman, regardless of surname. She is a singular presence, and if one of her peers in Top-40 pop works harder than she does, it does not show on stage.

At least it didn’t when Beyoncé came to the TD Garden Tuesday for a sold-out concert that drew 12,845 fans. (For those who got shut out, she returns to the venue Dec. 20.) At nearly two hours, it was a tightly choreographed show heavy on spectacle — confetti explosions, multiple videos of Beyoncé dolled up as a queen, wind machines working overtime — but it was also big on heart and beautifully sung. She is a belter who has mastered the art of doing so on key in cavernous spaces.

Without being preachy, the concert was a clever bit of entertainment that was actually about self-empowerment. When she kicked things off by asking, “Who run the world? Girls!” it was hard not to smile upon realizing the entire stage was full of nothing but strong women, from her eight-piece band to the three backup singers and handful of dancers. (Two male dancers appeared at times during the show.)


There were nods to the great female artists who came before her, including a snippet of Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” during “Naughty Girl,” to a very Madonna-like video interlude that evoked the black-and-white sophistication of “Vogue.”

“Party,” one of Beyoncé’s most seductive numbers, had the sway of sweet ’70s soul, like something from Labelle’s catalog. She sang a spine-tingling verse of “I Will Always Love You” in the style of the late Whitney Houston, who had a hit with the Dolly Parton song. And even Destiny’s Child, the trio that catapulted Beyoncé to stardom, got a salute with a truncated version of “Survivor.”


Meanwhile, the screams swelled to deafening levels for “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” During “Irreplaceable,” she walked the perimeter of the arena, stopping for hugs and kisses along the way. Beyoncé’s air might be regal, but you can still breathe it in.

A closing performance of “Halo,” the tearjerker that has become her signature ballad, was the pop star in miniature: strong and tough, but tender and grateful for all those screams that put her up on that stage.

James Reed can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJamesReed.