The message came with a decent helping of music at Global Citizen Festival on Saturday. The daylong event in New York’s Central Park took the organization’s mission statements of ending global poverty, female equality, sustaining the environment, and more, out to the masses, through speeches from dignitaries and celebrities such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Stephen Colbert, Bono, Leonardo Di Caprio and Salma Hayek.
Take your pick of the highlights, because Beyoncé’s performance was one long thrill. The hits were mostly present and correct, ranging from solo cuts such as “Crazy in Love” and “Halo,” and Destiny Child throwbacks “Survivor,” and “Jumpin,’ Jumpin.’” She even gave part of her glory to Ed Sheeran who backed her on a smooth, stripped down version of “Drunk in Love.” Her physical performance remains staggeringly close to perfection thanks to inch perfect choreography and vocals that never seem to stray. And the messages of female empowerment are not just tokenistic; they came thick and fast, from sources as varied as Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, and naturally, Bey’s own mouth. Each one feel like a jolt of motivation and for an event that preaches personal action, there could be no better performer at Global Citizen Festival.