In keeping with my 2013 practice of doing things I've never done before, this past weekend I scratched another "must-do" off my list - I saw the one and only Beyonce in concert on Sunday!
Now, I'm an unapologetic Bey fan - I'm not going to stab anyone or cuss anyone out on Twitter over her, but I love me some Bey! I had never gotten the opportunity to see her in concert, but once the Mrs. Carter World Tour was announced, I knew this was going to be my shot. Tickets were copped way back in February, and July 21st had been circled on my calendar ever since that blessed credit card payment went through. It was going to be the ultimate girls' night out - my sister and two of my good homegirls were down for the cause, so we made a night of it and had TOO much fun.
We met up at Hot House in downtown Toronto for dinner, finishing up this year's Summerlicious series. Summerlicious is one half of an annual food festival in Toronto - for a few weeks out of the season (and again in the winter for its chilly counterpart, Winterlicious), a ton of Toronto restaurants offer prix-fixe menus allowing you to try new eats at an affordable cost. We munched on delicious Caesar salads, surf & turf, swordfish, and cheesecake while we shared jokes and laughs, and left with our bellies full - and wallets only slightly tapped out.
Finally it was time to head to the Air Canada Centre for the show. The air in the ACC was literally electric - you could tell that everyone was excited to be in the house. Luke James opened the show, and he was great! He definitely had me interested in looking up more of his music - vocals were on point, and he had good stage presence. After his set, the lights came back up and we chilled out to a musical mix. Little did I realize, we about to be entertained by a dude in the audience who couldn't wait for Bey to come out before he started twerkin':
Shortly after, the lights dimmed and it was show time! For the next 2 hours, Beyonce strutted, popped it, and dutty wined for her life while serving us flawless live vocals. Kudos to Papa Knowles for making Destiny's Child practice singing while jogging, because Bey hit all her notes while head-banging and bouncing around on that damn stage. I don't have that kind of vocal control while standing up to sing Happy Birthday, so hats off to Mrs. Carter.
Did I mention that her dancers and all-woman band were ON POINT? I have girl crushes on her redheaded dancer Ashley and on her guitarist Bibi - but all the ladies (and Les Twins - the only gentlemen in the troupe) were dope. I adored the skill, artistry, passion, and detail that went into the show, and if there was any kernel of doubt about how much I loved Beyonce before, it was obliterated after. She was all that and a bag of chips.
Now, after the concert ended, the fun wasn't over! The good people at Hailo Cab - the smartphone app that makes catching a cab easy as pie - provided me with some free credits to get home in style!
I was super impressed with the app. After setting up my profile and inputting my credit card info on its secure system, I was able to hail a taxi in 5 minutes simply by hitting a button. The cab number and driver's name were provided, along with a minute-by-minute timer that showed me how long I'd be waiting. Next thing we knew, our driver Said showed up and it was time to roll. After a clean and comfortable ride, we reached our respective destinations. I had no clue what I was supposed to do next, but Said assured me that not only would payment simply go through directly onto my card from his system, but that my credits would be applied automatically and a receipt would be emailed within minutes.
It felt SO strange to simply stop and hop out of a taxi without a tangible exchange of payment, but Said was right! Not even 2 minutes later, I received an email receipt showing me my fare and the application of my credits. That was it!
All in all, it was a fabulous girls' night out. If you're in Toronto, make sure to check out Summer/Winterlicious when hit hits town, and give Hailo a spin if it's available in your city! And of course - if you can get your hands on Mrs. Carter World Tour tickets, do the right thing and GO!
What was your best girls' night out? Let me know!