It was Jay-Z mania in Camden last night as lucky ticket holders for his sold out show at the Roundhouse, queued to watch the record-breaking rapper perform. ROC signs were being thrown up in the air in the queue by Rocawear wearing ladies, whilst BluePrint3 flags and billboards were waved about outside the music venue.
With no supporting acts, the crowd, which I must say was a very multi-cultural one - mainly full of people I don't expect were fans of the Jigga man before Glastonbury or his collaborations with other music acts such as Coldplay, Linkin' Park, Rihanna and Kanye West - waited for nearly two and a half hours before Jay-Z appeared on stage. Normally when waiting hours for an act, the crowd normally becomes restless....well not in this instance!
Ten minutes before Jay-Z was to appear on stage, a countdown timer appeared on the huge screen followed by a deafening cheer by the crowd. As the timer got to 0:10, the crowd started to countdown the beginning of the show, which kind of reminded me of New Years Eve, and at 0:00 the live band dropped the beat for 'Death Of Autotune' and HOVA himself appeared. The hyped crowed rocked their heads to the beat whilst throwing up the diamond ROC sign rapping along with Jay to the beat.
"Ya'll are pretty quick with your fingers.....I heard this show sold out in two and a half seconds!" Jay-Z said to the frenzied crowd, which lead to everyone in the building chanting 'HOVA! HOVA!'. With hype man Memphis Bleek, Jay rocked the Roundhouse dropping classsic hits one after the other such as 'Heart Of The City', 'ROC Boys', 'I Just Wanna Love U' and 'Jigga What, Jigga Who'. He even had the crowd singing along to the Oasis classic 'Wonderwall'!
The New York rapper also dropped his #1 UK single, 'Run This Town' sans Rihanna and Kanye, and also the best track (in my opinion) on BluePrint3, 'Empire State Of Mind', which sounded great even without Alicia Keys' soulful voice, which was replaced by an unknown singer who graced the stage with Jay. I think Jay should've performed a few more tracks from the album, especially 'Thank You', but I guess he wants to save all of that for his world tour, which he'll emabark upon after a few more single releases from BluePrint3.
Not many rappers can work a stage, but I must say Jay definitely doesn't fall into that category. I was fully entertained. All in all the concert was great, mind you I wouldn't expect anything else from somebody at the top; top of the album charts, top of the singles chart and top of the list as one of the G.O.A.Ts