Date: 22nd May
Venue: o2 Arena, London
Zane Lowe must be regretting his words. After seeing Jay-Z and Kanye West perform, he called it “the best rap show of all time,” and in one of his (many) addresses to the crowd, Kanye calls Lowe out, saying “I heard on the radio that this was the best rap concert of all time…. Nah this is the best MUSIC concert of all time.” Perhaps a less idiotic moment of Kanye’s.
To be fair to him, he’s not far from wrong. Like the album this tour supports, everything about this two and half hour show is big. Starting with the two enormous and pulsating platforms which the pair arrive on, through to the giant American flag that adorns the stage during ‘Otis’, the pyrotechnics that coincide with Kanye’s utterance of the word ‘power’ during that song, his extended improvised rant at the end of ‘Runaway’, and of course the fact they play ‘Paris’, the album’s biggest single, three times in a row at the show’s close and then five more times as an encore. The chemistry between the two is electric, with Kanye as Jay-Z’s perfect foil.
Whilst Jay swaggers along the stage in a baseball cap, Kanye bounds around wearing leather trousers and an over-sized necklace. In between tracks from Throne, we also get fantastic team-ups on their solo songs, like Kanye playing the police officer in ’99 Problems’, Jay coming on at the end of ‘Diamonds from Sierra Leone’ to perform his verse from the remix, and Kanye jokingly singing the hook from ‘Big Pimpin’ after Jay has finished it. So when Jay-Z announces “You’re now tuned into the motherfuckin’ greatest” before ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’, he’s damn right.