In Concert

Sunday, 04 December 2011 20:29

Jay-Z/Kanye's "Watch the Throne" tour rocks Chicago Featured

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It wasn't that long ago where I gushed and gollied over what an incredible album Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" collaboration turned out to be. While so called experts and critics felt it was 'under-whelming" and 'self-absorbed", I knew better. And quite frankly the streets don't lie. You know what else doesn't lie...numbers. And by the shear amount of sell-out crowds and acclaim garnered from previous stops on their 'throne" tour, you just knew the touchdown in Chicago was going to be epic. Not only is Chicago the hometown of Mr. West, its also one of Jay-Z's favorite spots to perform.


I've had the pleasure of seeing Kanye West at Summerfest in June, and while he was very theatrical, he also was extremely emotional and energetic. So I knew what to expect from the hometown kid who was bout to live his dream of playing a packed house in his hometown next to his hero. As for Jay-Z, well he's gotten better and better each time I've seen him, so with their last two shows in my head I came in expecting nothing less than a total euphoric hip hop experience.

No opening act needed for these two, as the sounds of "HAM" came reigning through the speakers (yes I know how I spelled reigned...I like that description!). With both performers on dual rising cubes across from each other, they tore into a "Throne" favorite "Who gon stop me", in which Jay-Z just tears through his verse like Jason through the first hundred Friday the 13th movies. Why Kanye thinks wearing a kilt cool is anyone's guess, but hey, he's Kanye., he does what he wants...clearly.

Both artists took turns on stage seperate and together ripping through crowd favorites back to back to back...there was no time to rests as the crowd spent the concert on their feet the entire night. I once pointed out the differences in stage approaches in both Jay and Kanye, and it was the same here: Kanye, emotional, eccentric, not sure what he's going to do or say, while Hov is like the world's best poker player on stage, never letting his guard down, never giving you too much, always making sure each gesture and lyric is well planned, well thought out...none more evident that the encore where as Kanye would put on any hat thrown on stage by the crowd , as Jay stayed focus...Yankess hat tilted over his eyes, only removed for purpose and to get his point across.

The duo hit an entire catalog of hits, and the visual aspects on the background screen helped give some of the "throne" songs more of an emotional connection. But this show wasnt about selling an album, it was the two kings of hip hop and music worldwide showing just why they are in a league of their own. A setlist like no other hip hop or rock show before it, its clear why they have gotten rave reviews in every city. Its a can't miss show filled with 3 hours of nonstop hits. From die-hard to casual fans of eaither artist, this is the show you'd want to see.

My favorite moment of the that was repeated from last year's Jay-Z show is when the lights go out upon the crowd as Hov finishes up his monstorous crowd pleaser "U don't know", and they show the entire crowd, hands in the air in the diamond position rocking back in unison to Jay-Z like an army...its a breath-taking thing to witness as its amazing when music connects so well with its biggest listeners.

I didnt sit down until the encore...well, midway through the encore, which was the duo ripping through their hit "Niggas in Paris" a record 8 consecutive times! This song is currently the hottest record on radio and even in high school gyms (almost every high school basketball team has this song in their warm-up, which means it must be hot, right? The kids are even listening to it!!) Hearing a song 8 times in a row is just way too much for me, no matter how hot the song is at the moment, but it was clear that the duo was actually having alot of fun on stage together, and enjoying the chemistry and crowd reaction. You could tell they were having too much fun as even the poker-faced king of rap let down his guard with a smile and tip of his hat, as he ripped through his "Paris" verse a 6th and 7th time. And despite it all the crowd ate it up.

There's currently a lil' Wayne/Eminem tour oversees that may make its way to the states before the year is out, but it will be hard-pressed to come close to the energy and emotion given by Jay-Z and Kanye on this night.


1.Intro: HAM

2. Who gon stop me?

3. Otis

4. Welcome to the jungle

5. Gotta have it

6. Where I'm from

7. Jigga what, Jigga who?

8. Can't tell me nothin'

9. Flashing lights

10. Jesus Walks

11. All falls down

12. Diamonds...

13. PSA

14. U don't know

15. Run this town

16. Monster

17. Power

18. Made in America

19. New day

20. Hard Knocks Life

21. Izzo

22. Empire state of mind

23. Runaway

24. Heartless

25. Stronger

26. On to the next

27. Dirt off your shoulder

28. I just wanna love you

29. Thats mu bitch

30. Good life

31. Touch the sky

32. All of the lights

33. Big Pimpin

34. Gold digger

35. 99 problems

36. No Church in the wild

37. Lift off

38. Niggas in Paris

39. Niggas in Paris


6 more renditions of Niggas in Paris (tour record).

Last modified on Monday, 05 December 2011 23:28



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