Jay-Z @ Alexandra Palace
He'll Need To Start Looking For A House Soon!
Before we continue, if you're wondering why this isn't in our live review section, you'll need to read the entire feature to find out why this was not just simply a 'live gig'.
I think it's fair to say that we're becoming quite the Jay-Z obsessive over here at Dropout. He was back in our neck of the woods again to perform to a 7,000 sell-out crowd at the great Alexandra Palace in North London yesterday (4th November). We couldn't miss it for the world. Well maybe not the world...
We got the usual memo informing us on the direction of the gig, this time to be more Blueprint 3 orientated. I was quite excited about this, as I was still yet to hear an entire live set of his new material, and knowing Jigga, he would definitely have a few tricks up his Audemars Piguet wearing sleeve.
Dressed all in black, with Gucci Shades and Black Diamond Jesus Piece, he arrived on stage with his accustomed swagger and confidence and quickly went into What We Talkin About from his new album, followed by Death Of Autotune (DOA) and Run This Town. The crowd went totally ballistic.
There was a different atmosphere within this gig compared to his Roundhouse performance in September. The crowd pretty much knew what to expect, yet instead of this adversely causing them to be more reserved, the anticipation of knowing what may come caused most to stare google-eyed at the 6ft 1.5inch rapper.
Jay reveled in being supported by a full band and horn section which gave extra bass and depth to tracks like Excuse Me Miss and Show Me What You've Got.
He definitely showed his endearing, humorous side on the night by paying tribute to the crowd by projecting a Union Jack flag on a huge screen behind his band at points in the set. He even joked about his recent chart achievement – scoring his 11th US Number One album with 'The Blueprint 3' (Which is far from a joke, especially as a Hip-Hop artist) when he said:
"I want to thank anyone who bought my 'Blueprint 3'. My 11th number one album, surpassing Elvis Presley. I can officially say Elvis has left the building... That's a joke."
To the left off me, Coldplay's Chris Martin was clearly enjoying himself, at one point even miming a few verses. A testament to the influence Jay-Z has had in bringing Hip-Hop to the masses.
Empire State Of Mind sans Alicia Keys still went down a treat with the fans, and was probably one of my favourite moments of the night as it perfectly segued into Frank Sinatra's 'New York, New York'.
His loyal apprentice and hype man Memphis Bleek assisted him in going through a collection of old and new including Nigga What, Nigga Who, Big Pimpin and Dirt Of Your Shoulder, in a 'showy-offy' kind way as to say, 'I bet you forgot about this!'. The crowd lapped it up!
In closing, Jigga invited London native Mr Hudson to perform Forever Young. When he declared that the crowd were being filmed for a forthcoming promo, the place seemed to fill with 6,999 people holding lighters in the air and singing along as the pair performed the song. To say I didn't feel like the odd one out would be a big old lie.
He did it again...