Before we begin, a personal anecdote: In 2010 I was in Montreal attending a show by Jónsi of Sigur Rós at Metropolis in downtown MTL. Prior to the gig starting, all the TVs in the theatre were tuned into game two of the NHL Eastern Conference semifinals between Montreal’s own Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins which was taking place in Pittsburgh. With around 3 minutes left in the final period, and with Montreal grimly holding on to a 3-1 lead (they would go on to win), the TVs were switched off in preparation for Jónsi’s set. To this day, I have never – in my life – heard a crowd boo anything louder.
The point here being: Sometimes musos are wise to recognise those rare occasions where sport trumps all.
To wit: Beyoncé and Jay-Z are currently swanning their way through Europe on the opening leg of their On The Run II world tour, with the latest destination being a set of two shows in Paris.
The second of their two shows happened to take place last night (Paris time) which also just-so-happened to be the day of the FIFA World Cup final, at which France would ultimately grasp global sporting glory.
Not only was their stop in the French epicentre, but it happened to be at the Stade de France; the home of the French national football team.
Rather than ignore it, Beyoncé and Jay steered into the skid, throwing the doors of Stade open early for eager punters all clamouring at the bit to watch Les Bleus bring it home.
They utilised the gigantic screens being used for the OTRII tour stage setup, putting on arguably one of the biggest views of the cup final in the world.
Beyoncé, being the benevolent so-and-so that she is, even managed to capture the moment France scored their game-opening goal, and the moment the gathered crowd went absolutely bananas.
Now that’s a warm up act if ever we’ve seen won.
Shortly after the cup was raised by the French side, Beyoncé and Jay-Z took the stage in front of what they called “one of the best audiences so far.”
Frankly, after watching their country bring home the World Cup, we don’t doubt that at all.