December 20, 2011
Concert Review: Were You Watching The Throne?!?!?! Jay-z and Kanye Watch The Throne Tour
First off, let me begin by saying that I have seen Jay-z in concert on many occasions, however, this was my first time seeing Kanye perform live and in person. Besides his stellar award and televised concert performances, I could only anticipate the performance that Kanye would deliver at the Watch The Throne concert. Unlike Kanye, Jay-z has had so many world tours its too many to name (Hard Knock Life, Roc The Mic, Jay-Z and Friends, etc.). Contrary to Jay-z's previous performances, he and Kanye had no guest appearances, no dancers, and surprisingly, not even a visible band at the Watch The Throne concert at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
It seems as though the bulk of the budget went into pyrotechnics, smoke, high tech lasers and two digital cubed HD screens that elevated about 60 feet in the air showing video footage that was selected to accompany each song, with Jay-z and Kanye standing on top of the screens, no less. Jay and 'Ye won the crowd over with hits from the album like No Church In The Wild, Lift Off, Otis, Who Gone Stop Me and Welcome To The Jungle to name a few, and also took us back with classic hits like Big Pimpin', Is That Your Chick and Hard Knock Life as well as Flashing Lights, Diamonds Are Forever and Gold Digger that kept the fans' diamond/roc signs up all night.
The Roc Nation affiliates mellowed the mood and turned down the flashing lights to focus on one of my favorite songs off the album, New Day. As they both reflected on the future life of their unborn children and how they would make things better for them once they were born, Jay thanked the crowd for sharing the moment with them, as it was an emotional performance that the concertgoers could actually connect with.
No performance of Watch The Throne would be complete without Sweet Baby Jesus, a nostalgic track that boasts the melodic voice of Frank Ocean, as he proclaims, "we made it in America". The American flag was a common theme throughout the concert, as Kanye and Jay-z exemplified what it means to live the American Dream. Besides, isn't that what the album was all about? The concert was not without its other deep moments, like when they performed Murder To Excellence, with Kanye declaring, "I feel the pain in my city wherever I go. 314 soldiers died in Iraq. 509 died in Chicago." As the 60 foot screens rose to the ceiling, Kanye and Jay-z depicted historic and graphic footage of police brutality, political marches and speeches and this is where the crowd got a bit quiet and reflective.
I was also surprised to see that the majority of Kanye's and Jay-z's fans were not African American, and even further, that the crowd was overwhelmingly full with fans of Kanye. Nevertheless, I held Hov down like the true fan that I am and recited every word to every song, just because I'm cool like that. All in all, the concert was very enjoyable and I'm glad I sprung for the c-note (and them $ome) to attend such a monumental and epic tour. Kanye and Jay-z gave us a performance we could be proud of and made a clear statement to the world that everyone should heed...."Watch The Throne".
Have you ever seen Jay-z or Kanye West perform live?
Did you attend the Watch The Throne concert in your city?
What did you like about the performances?
What did you think was missing, if anything, from the tour?
Would you pay to see Kanye and Jay-z on tour in the future?