Beyonce brought the house to a frenzy again and again during the second night of her four-night-stand Tuesday at New York's Roseland Ballroom. She treated the approximately 2,500 fans in the sold out venue -- all four nights sold out in minutes -- to a night of story-telling and song and start-to-finish dance routines. She walked -- or perhaps "ran" would be more appropriate -- fans chronologically through her career with Destiny's Child and her solo projects via a rapid-fire medley of choruses and stories, and also performed her new album, "4," in order, in its entirety.
Beyonce gave her father Mathew Knowles -- estranged as her manager -- props, saying that he interrupted Destiny Child's first audition because Beyonce had gone swimming the night before and her stuffed-up nose left the group unprepared to perform. "And he was right," she said. Similarly, on Sunday night Beyonce gave her father credit for sending the song "Independent Woman Pt. 1" to the producers of the "Charlie's Angels" movie without anyone's permission.
Beyonce also tweaked Columbia executives, who were there en masse to support the singer despite a tough day that saw Sony laying off about 25 people. "They told me I didn't have one single on my album," said Beyonce of her 2003 solo debut LP, "Dangerously In Love." "I guess they were kind of right. I had five." This set off a comical bout of actual finger-pointing in the balcony, which ultimately contained very few executives who were with Columbia at that time. More than one person was overheard to crack, "Must have been Donnie," a reference to former chairman of the Sony Music Label Group Don Ienner, who had the good sense to sign Destiny's Child and Beyonce in the first place.
New Sony Chairman and CEO Doug Morris was in his seat on the mezzanine overlooking the stage as Beyonce began; earlier that evening, before the set began, he'd actually had his first meeting with the singer as chairman of Sony. Much of the Sony contingent stayed until the house lights came on at the very end, including chairman of the Columbia/Epic label group Rob Stringer, Columbia co-chairman Steve Barnett, Columbia SVP of marketing Scott Greer, Sony EVP of business affairs Julie Swidler and others.
"We've only got one problem with her," joked a beaming Stringer at one point, as Beyonce prowled the stage, her non-stop dancing and sweat a testament to how dedicated she was to providing fans with a special night. "She just doesnt work very hard, does she?"