Faux-Feminist R&B 

Beyoncé at Oracle Arena.

Equally adept at chunky dance numbers and slick, perky ballads, R&B superstar Beyoncé is one of the few mass-marketed pop divas whose talent actually matches her Hollywood good looks and tabloid-ready shenanigans. Plus she's on the saltier end of the diva spectrum, as evidenced in hits like the searing (and screeching) revenge number "Ring the Alarm," the startlingly boastful "Upgrade U," and the faux-feminist anthem "Irreplaceable." In this year's B'Day, Beyoncé threw several unfaithful boyfriends on the street and denied others their bed privileges. Even her more seductive songs sound domineering and scornful. Still, there's something refreshing about her tarty new persona, especially since it contrasts so starkly with the self-sacrificing woman she played in 2005's "Cater 2 You." A former protégée of Tony Toni Toné frontman D'Wayne Wiggins — who's become the East Bay's analogue of Motown executive Berry Gordy — Beyoncé still has solid ties to the Bay Area; Friday's concert at Oracle Arena is, in many ways, a homecoming. The show, which also features the suddenly ubiquitous smooth-jazz vocalist Robin Thicke, goes down Friday, August 31 at 7:30 p.m. $59.75-$150.75. Coliseum.com

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