Jay-Z at 1st Mariner Arena

Last night I was in attendance at the Arena for Jay-Z’s stop on his Blueprint 3 Tour.  I expected a lot from the show and, as someone who’s listened to his albums for 10+ years and never seen him live, he did not disappoint.  He started his performance rising from the floor, as Rihanna’s voice came over the speakers on the opening notes of “Run This Town,” and never looked back.  Two hours later he had played all of his commercial hits, several songs off Blueprint 3, and delivered a performance that was captivating for all of us who were there.  His set is below:

  1. Run This Town
  2. Death To Autotune
  3. U Don’t Know
  4. 99 Problems
  5. Show Me What You Got
  6. I Just Wanna Love You
  7. Jigga My N****
  8. H To The Izzo
  9. Jigga What, Jigga Who
  10. Public Service Announcement
  11. Ain’t No Love
  12. Already Home
  13. Empire State Of Mind
  14. So Ambitious
  15. Dirt Off Your Shoulder
  16. Thank You
  17. On To The Next One
  18. Venus Vs. Mars
  19. Swagga Like Us
  20. Can I Get A…
  21. Big Pimpin’
  22. Hard Knock Life
  23. Encore

He had Memphis Bleek on stage for a majority of the concert to back him up and hype the crowd, although that aspect was hardly needed.  Several times he cut off the band at the end of a song and performed a verse and/or chorus a cappella to show off his flow, which was extremely impressive live for someone who’s not considered to be the best technical rapper out there.  Beyond his rhyme skills, though, we were all there to see an epic performance, something more than what we’d get listening to his songs at home and that’s exactly what we got.  The set was rather subdued, his band was set up in front of large video pillars that I suspect were meant to look like the New York City skyline.  He took control from the very beginning and had us up out of our seats the entire time.  He had amazing control of the crowd who hung on his every word; if there were other life forms looking down on us last night they would have looked down at the Arena and assumed it was a cult gathering with thousands of fans putting up their diamond signs.  I’ve been a fan of Jay-Z since I first heard him in middle school and had tremendous expectations hearing live for the first time last night, expectations he easily surpassed.

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One response to “Jay-Z at 1st Mariner Arena

  1. He puts on a pretty good show, considering that most rap concerts are kind of boring, the sound can be bad, and the songs don’t stand up to the carefully polished tracks that we are used to. He had nice video displays, and there was a nice rendition of “99 Problems but a Bush ain’t one”…those were the days.

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