The thousands of people packed into Boardwalk Hall on Friday to see the sold-out Beyonce concert will look back years from now and remember the epic night they experienced in Atlantic City.
Beyonce, who performed in the 14,000-capacity arena in the hall for the first time, did not put seats on the floor, which allowed for general-admission standing. This caused people to start lining up as early as 9 a.m. outside of the hall on the Boardwalk, so they could be as close to the stage as possible.
Allizey Shields, 16, of Old Bridge, Middlesex County, first arrived at 7 a.m. Friday, but saw no one in line, so she returned at 9 a.m. and started standing for a concert that would not begin until 8 p.m.
"This is my first time (seeing Beyonce live). I'm very excited. I wanted general admission tickets, to be as close as possible to her," said Shields, who was with her mother and two of her neighbors. "We love Beyonce. I remember Destiny's Child (her previous group)."
This is Beyonce's second appearance in Atlantic City in two years.
In January 2012, Beyonce gave birth to her first child, Blue Ivy Carter, with her hip-hop mogul husband, Jay Z.
Months after giving birth, Beyonce returned to the stage to perform four shows over Memorial Day weekend in the 5,000-capacity Ovation Hall during the grand opening weekend for Revel. First Lady Michelle Obama attended the second of the four sold-out shows with her daughters Sasha and Malia.
The singer did not take the stage before Press deadline Friday night.
Jose Gutierrez, 22, of Vineland, was standing in line operating on very little sleep waiting to enter the arena to see Beyonce, one of the biggest selling recording artists of all time.
Gutierrez spent four hours creating a sign spelling out Beyonce's name in red glitter with a cardboard backing. Gutierrez was so excited that he only slept for four hours before he had to head to work at an immigration attorney's office in Bridgeton.
"I'm a big fan. I had to come," said Gutierrez, who spent $560 to buy two tickets through stubhub.com for him and his cousin, Elianet Reyes, 26, also of Vineland.
Beyonce, 31, billed her concert as "The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour." The tour started April 15 in Serbia and ends Dec. 20 in Boston. Boardwalk Hall was the 20th stop on the North American leg. The tour includes 100 shows - 35 in Europe, nine in Latin America, 13 in Australia and 43 in North America.
Veronica Pozas, 24, lives in the Virgin Islands, but is spending this summer in her hometown of Boston. Pozas could have seen Beyonce in Boston, but she decided to make a vacation out of it and came to Atlantic City with her friend, Devin Youngclaus, 23, also of Boston. Pozas estimated they spent $800 for the whole trip, including tickets to the show and two nights at the Golden Nugget Hotel.
"Her music is amazing. Her dancing is amazing. She spans generations, like Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald," said Pozas, who added her parents are musicians. "It's worth every cent. … This will be my one show for the whole year. It's an investment."
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