What did we do before Beyoncé? A timid glance back at our Top 40 stash from years prior is proof enough of how sorely we had settled in the pop-star department before Beyoncé's arrival (why hello, Miss Lavigne). But the limpid, disaffected, possibly deranged years that marked the Spears administration were dispelled this summer with one proud bellow by the undisputed reigning matriarch of pop music, immediately dooming the previous decade of popular music to a historical dark age. Beyoncé's show, which included a cover of Etta James's "At Last," a tribute to the newly fallen MJ, and a staggering medley of her hits with Destiny's Child, was enough to make tweens squeal and grown men weep, and it offered what few concerts, let alone Top 40 pop shows, have offered since the Beatles ruled the earth—a meaning greater than the notes and the pomp, from which all loyal subjects departed breathless and changed. God save the Queen.


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