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Music review

Beyoncé connects with crowd

Reprinted from late editions of yesterday's Globe.

Beyoncé Knowles made gestures small and large to celebrate and entertain the many women in the TD Banknorth Garden Sunday night.

Start with the smoking-hot all-girl band of varying shapes, sizes, and colors. Throw in four appreciably fit male dancers, and six female ones, too. Add some funny and frank girl talk. Singalong hits about trifling, expendable men and self-sufficient women were in the mix as well. But if none of the above clinched the endearment of the female part of the audience of 7,213, then the moment she grabbed her underarm flab did.

Yes, Beyoncé has a little tricep jelly, and during "Flaws and All" she seized it without shame.

Jay-Z's boo may have been rocking extensions that went on for days as she opened with "Crazy in Love." The Texas native may have been wriggling in harem pants that exposed the rock-hard abs of fantasy as she writhed to "Beautiful Liar." And the former Destiny's Child leader may have spent the whole two-hour affair singing with a voice enviously kissed by the gods of both soul and control, but Beyoncé is also smart enough to occasionally knock down the wall between star and fan with humor and heart.

"The Beyoncé Experience" -- as it is so dubbed like some kind of a concert theme-park ride -- was an elaborate affair. It was part Vegas review, part hard-edged rock concert, part sweaty funk and soul revival, part diva concert-hall performance, and almost all fun to watch as the singer threw herself into the various settings and costumes. (Loved the floor-length gown, not so much the tinfoil mini.)

The songs off her second solo album, "B'Day," got plenty of attention, but a lengthy mid-set Destiny's Child medley got the most love. The crowd bounced to an expertly choreographed and arranged string of nine songs from "Independent Women" to "Bills, Bills, Bills" to "Soldier."

The singer also indulged her cinematic side, nicking the cellblock tango conceit from "Chicago" as an intro to her fierce lament "Ring the Alarm."

She shed some real tears during "Flaws," no less impressive for their calculation, and copped some moves from Marilyn Monroe for a jaunt through "Dreamgirls."



With Robin Thicke

At: TD Banknorth Garden, Sunday