Beyoncé’s “Mrs. Carter” tour hit Detroit on July 20, just a day after the city became the largest municipality in American history to file for bankrupcy. There she performed a version of Sam Cooke’s classic “A Change Is Gonna Come,” which has been set to a montage of photos and video — taken by her prolific traveling A/V team — of the city, her adoring crowd, and Detroit icons like Jack White, Aaliyah, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin. It all might come off as a bit heavy handed if it wasn’t for the fact that, well, Beyonce absolutely slays the cover. The poignant moment is a far cry from when she got her weave stuck in a fan during another show.
There is, maybe, something a bit sour about a multi-millionaire sweeping through one of America’s most tattered cities on a tour that’s making her even richer and cramming footage of fans mouthing “I love you, Beyonce” into a montage of said city’s poor and broken people. But entertainment is escapism, and if seeing Beyonce makes Detroit’s survivors smile — even for a night — that’s quite all right.