Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Show Recap: Jay-Z @ Pepsi Center

Yes! Last night Kassie, Isaac and I went down to the Pepsi Center in Denver to catch the Blue Print 3 tour featuring Jay-Z and Young Jeezy. We weren’t interested in the opening acts, STS9 or Trey Songz, so we arrived about 830p, anticipating Jay-Z going on at 9p. We got there about half-way through Trey Songz, and we were glad we missed most of his set, and after we regained our seats from some poachers, we sat back and started to get excited.

We had really good seats, Row 1 of the upper deck, side stage, so our view was never obstructed and we got to put our feet up comfortably. A countdown clock appeared on the big screen letting us know that the show was starting in 10 minutes. When the timer hit 0:00 the lights dimmed and intro music for Run This Town started. Jay-Z rose up out of the stage and it was on!

The energy for the opener was amazing, Run This Town was crazy with the whole building standing and singing along. Jay-Z was supported by a full band; 2 drummers, a guitarist, keyboards, horn section, and his DJ. The sound was so loud, but still clear and you could hear most of the pieces of the band pretty well. After Run This Town Jay went right into On To The Next One and then D.O.A. (Death of Auto-tune). The hits just kept coming.

After DOA, Jay introduced Memphis Bleek and for the rest of the night either Bleek or Young Jeezy was alongside Jigga-man. They started off with U Don’t Know, then 99 Problems and Show Me What You Got. From there Jay just started pumping out songs, which is great because with so many albums out now it’s almost like any song he does is a hit. The best of that group was Public Service Announcement, it had so much energy, it’s such a great song. Bleek left after that song and Trey Songz showed up to sing the hook for Heart of the City and help with Already Home.

After Trey Songz left, Bridget Kelly came about to sing Alicia Key’s part on Empire State of Mind. This song was amazing, and Bridget’s voice was great. Jay was switching up lyrics all night, for example, “I make that Yankee Jacket more famous than a Yankee can…” as he pointed out a dude in the crowd. After this song Young Jeezy came out to help with Real As I Gets.

From there Jay-Z left the stage for Young Jeezy’s set, about 30 minutes long.

I’m not a fan of Jeezy, and his performance definitely didn’t change that, cliché thug rap. You could really tell a contrast between Jeezy and Jay, and the clarity of their vocals, Jay-Z really speaks clearly for a rapper!

After about 30 minutes Jay-Z showed up again, and they both sang My President (is black) which was a little awkward for us white folk! Anyway, everyone loved that, and as the song ended a clip of President Obama was played on the big screen, the clip where he dusts off his shoulders, a prelude into Dirt Off Your Shoulder, reinvigorating the crowd.

After that Jay went into a medley of verses from songs he’s featured on, like Swagga Like Us and Bonnie & Clyde. From there he played some old stuff from Reasonable Doubt and other older albums. Just when I was starting to get dis-interested Jay busted into 3 of his most famous hits; Can I Get A … / Big Pimpin’ / Hard Knock Life. For Big Pimpin’ he instructed the crowd to wave their towels / shirts which made for a pretty sweet visual effect. Then for Hard Knock Life the music was cut out several times to let the crowd sing the hook, there are reasons why we in the crowd are fans and not singers, and our section was exceptionally horrible at singing!

For the end of the show Jay-Z played a jazzy version of Thank You, very toned down, and pretty genuine sounding as he thanked everyone for coming out. As the song played out Jay begin pointing out people in the crowd, commenting (positive) on their cool shirts or hats. He pointed people out the entire arena, upper level and lower, getting really close to getting our group on the screen (we would have been the only 3 people in the place still sitting down, and I didn’t want to be called out by Jay-Z!). It was a cool way to bridge the show to the encore, especially since I’m not a fan of the PLANNED exit from stage then return for encore.

After about 10 minutes of crowd appreciation, Jay-Z played the most fitting song for his encore, Encore. I really love this song and it was a great way to end the night on a high note!

Probably one of the best shows I’ve ever been to, great sound and a solid set. At first I was a little nervous about his 2 hour set, thinking Kassie might lose interest like she has at other shows I’ve dragged her to (she fell asleep at AFI and Anberlin) but she had a great time all the way through!

Show Me What You Got:

Jay-Z - Big Pimpin'

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