WaTunes: Plenty of love for Jay-Z at his sold-out show

March 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm Leave a comment

Source: Hampton Roads

“There’s a lot of love in this building tonight.”

So proclaimed hip-hop deity Jay-Z, the Brooklyn native who last year surpassed the long-held Elvis Presley record for most No. 1 albums by a solo artist on the Billboard Top 200, during Sunday’s sold-out concert at Norfolk’s Scope arena.

And there was indeed plenty of love directed at Shawn Corey Carter, from the racially diverse but dominantly African-American audience of coupled up Gen X’ers and Y’ers. The large majority of concertgoers stood and danced throughout Jay’s highly entertaining ninety minute set, which began around 9:00 p.m., preceded by a thirty-minute set by popular R&B singer and Virginia native, Trey Songz.

Now Trey was “cool” to watch. He performed well without the crutch of back-up dancers and singers, displaying a solid tenor range buffered by his six-piece band. The Petersburg native, who acknowledged being from VA at numerous points throughout his set, was extremely popular with the female members of the audience. So predictably, he tailored his show to appeal to them, even following in the clichéd tradition of removing his shirt at the end. Nevertheless, hits including “I Need a Girl,” “I Invented Sex,” and “Say Aah” were seemingly well received by the audience as a whole.

Yet once Jay-Z dramatically emerged from underneath the stage to the sounds of his recent hit “We Run This Town,” it was clear by the sonic level of fan pandemonium that the headliner was indeed the primary draw. The audience’s unadulterated love-fest for Jigga and his large catalogue of hits remained throughout his opening set, which included high-energy performances of “On to the Next One” and “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune).” His opening salvo also included vocal support by his legendary sideman Memphis Bleek, and they roared through a number of classic cuts including The Black Album’s “99 Problems.”

The night’s billed special guest, rapper Young Jeezy, performed a surprisingly lengthy set during what would have been Jay’s second act of a two-hour performance. The transition wasn’t really awkward though, as Jeezy joined Jay on a couple of songs prior to launching into some of his own hits; such as crowd favorites “Put On” and “Soul Survivor.”

Jay then rejoined Young Jeezy to conclude the Georgia native’s set with their take on his “My President,” a song which celebrates the election of President Barack Obama as the first black president. That moment cleverly lead into a video of President Obama “brushing his shoulder off,” referencing Jay’s huge 2004 hit “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” which he then performed to huge applause.

Hype moments would continue to abound during the remaining forty-five minutes of Jay’s show, though the rumored appearance of superstar wife Beyonce wasn’t one of them. Hip-hop anthems like “Big Pimping” and “Can’t Knock the Hustle” were enthusiastically devoured by concertgoers, with fans even finishing Jay’s verses for him and actually committing passionately to sing-a-longs.

Jay’s “Encore” predictably served as the night’s finale, but not until after Jay spent quite a few minutes acknowledging audience members who were dressed especially “fly,” or who had composed creative signs showing love to Mr. Carter. Clearly, it was the emcee’s way of sharing the love so to speak, as he would clarify prior to descending back underneath the stage.

“I hope I gave y’all the love back.”

Posted via email from WaTunes

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