Beyonce - US Airways Center - Saturday, December 7In Beyonce's defense, when you've been famous for something like 15 years the possibility exists that you've been photographed enough times--that however many photos of you needed to exist in the universe have now been made. That could be why she--like Kanye West next week--is not credentialing photographers for Saturday's show. (She could also still be sore over those unflattering photos of her at the Super Bowl, which are more flattering than any photo of me that will ever be taken, at least until weaves become socially acceptable for white male music writers.)
That's not the story, of course. It's a rare chink in Beyonce's seemingly indestructible public-relations armor, but she remains Beyonce, a pop juggernaut for whom arenas fill and robot-hands snap. Until it becomes possible for phones to take unflattering photos at arena concerts, and not just parties in overlit frat-house basements, she's won this round.
The story is that well more than a decade on in her career she's remained a vital pop-cultural force, even as a lot of the bands and artists she once tangled with on the charts join forces and book nostalgia tours. "Crazy in Love" was the fourth biggest hit of 2003--right ahead of 3 Doors Down, and right behind Sean Paul. That's staying power.