Gig review: ‘Ye and Jay deliver the usual

Life

Otis Graham waxes lyrical about Kanye West and Jay-Z’s O2 Arena show…

As it turns out, Jay-Z and Kanye West actually put on a very moderate show. At around eight o’clock they shuffled onto a small, sparse stage at the far end of the 02 Arena, acknowledged some appreciative applause, and proceeded to play a pleasant intimate gig, finishing after a dozen or so songs and walking off, wishing us all a good night.

That is, of course, a lie. There was screaming, there was lots of fire, there were glowing pillars which raised ’Ye and Jay near the ceiling as they opened with ‘H·A·M·’, there were 50-foot high screens, there were enough strobe lights to [insert your own epilepsy-based joke here], there were over 40 songs, there were performances of Heartless, Runaway and Stronger by Kanye from a separate (glowing) stage in the middle of the audience, there was a lot more fire, and the show ended with, yes, five renditions of “Niggas in Paris” in a row.

So essentially, it was amazing. For hardcore fans of the pair, there was everything you could want; Jay-Z dropped some songs from as far back as 1997 and Kanye mixed classics from The College Dropout with more recent fare. For everyone else, there was still enough to make this an unforgettable show, because who isn’t going to completely lose their shit when All of the Lights starts up, or when Jay utters those immortal words: “If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son”? 

Ultimately though, it was amazing because Yeezy and Hov clearly put a lot of effort into crafting the whole experience, and matched the crowd’s energy throughout. And when it was finally over, they did indeed wish us all a good night.

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