It doesn't take a genius to see that I don't listen to a whole lot of hip hop, but I have picked up to listening o a little, particularly since finding out about the Jay Z show at Vanderbilt this past weekend.
My little brother had never been to a show before this one and I knew he'd kick me if he missed out, so I passed along word right before tickets went on sale and -next thing you know- we were sitting in expensive seats in Vanderbilt's Memorial Gym, second balcony, able to see the stage fairly well, yet unable to see most of the large video screens once the curtain dropped and Jay came through the floor.
But first things first: Wale opened for the show and I will admit, I freaked out when I read the Nashville Scene and saw he was playing before the main event. I'd only really heard of Wale through his work with Mark Ronson and I dug the stuff, so I was pumped. Evidentally Wale dropped his album, Attention Deficit that past Tuesday and even did a meet and greet in Antioch before the show, so it's easy to say people are into it what he's doing.
His set was a good one and by the last two songs or so, he even had the higher up sections moving around, hands in the air. My overall thoughts on the set revolve around one statement: I really hope he comes back to town and plays at a smaller venue, headlining. It would be a killer show.
Once Jay Z hit the stage, obviously, the crowd freaked out, to say the least. He puts on quite an awesome show, complete with lights, the aforementioned screens and all kinds of big show goodness (you'll have to excuse my getting excited over such things...I rarely attend large, arena sized shows). In some instances, I would have worried a little about one person running such a large show by themself, but this guy knows how to do it. He came complete with a full band, including horns, and plowed through most of his radio hits, along with some lesser known songs.
The coolest part, though, was getting to see my little brother experience his first show and see the excitement of hearing the songs he had been singing along to for a long time, in real life. I'm proud to say, yes, that was my brother in the first balcony that was singing along so loud to those songs you could hear him over Jay at moments. The whole experience reminded me why music is amazing live and why people do it- to elicit responses like my brother gave- I can't help but think he "gets" music more now. Thanks, Jay.
Overall, this was probably one of my top 2 shows of the year (perhaps a list will appear later on the blog). I highly suggest seeing Jay so you can get the triangle symbol out of your system, also so you can see how charming of a dude he is (the statements about the "pretty ladies" in the audience were in slight abundance, but in a totally adorable way). This man knows what he's doing, he knows you want to know what he's doing and, well, it's worth the money to see what he's going to do next.