Jay-Z Rehearsal Concert @ Nokia Theater

Well, that’s another one off “The List”…

So Bill IMs me on Thursday night asking me if I wanted a free ticket to this Jay-Z rehearsal show on Saturday to which I said “of course” (this may seem like a nice interaction but Bill asked me in a more dickhead-like way and, later, took one of my tickets away from me because he thought I was one of the people who he didn’t think was possible to get someone to go with them…in case you are wondering why I didn’t ask anyone to go to me).

So, Saturday, after I went to the movies (Click) with friends, I decided to make my way to the Nokia theater. Doors opened at 8:30 and I got there like 7:10. The line started forming but there could not have been more than 40 people ahead of me and I was like “Cool”. I put on my iPod and started reading some comic books.

Rule #1, 5 and 17 of Waiting on Line: If you don’t want someone to join you in line or don’t feel comfortable letting someone cut in line, no eye contact. That’s why I brought the comic books. Someone who joined me in line that I didn’t mind did not adhere to this rule which not only allowed 4 people to join us in line but those 4 people got in to the theater before us.

No matter, we got a really good spot at the stairway to the right of the stage.

Now that was 8:45 PM.

?uestlove had a really good DJ set where he played a lot of sampled soul records.

And that was cool.

For an hour.

Although by 2 and half hours later, I was ready to go outside and scalp my ticket.

When the show finally started at 11:15 (!), the curtains pulled back and there was Jay-Z, ?uestlove and the Illadelphonics and a fucking orchestra. Nice!

Jay-Z went through all the songs on Reasonable Doubt (celebrating the 10th anniversary of it’s release) and hit us with the sequel to “22 Two’s”, “44 Four’s”, which was really hot.

Memphis Bleek and Sauce Money (who has gained at least 125 pounds and should go by the moniker of “Extra Sauce Money” or “BBQ Sauce Money”) did their verses. I was expecting (hoping) that Mary J. Blige (“Can’t Knock The Hustle”) or Foxy Brown (“Ain’t No N!gga”) would come out for their parts or Nas would do the chorus of “Dead Presidents” (although he was in the VIP section) but it wasn’t to be. It was only a rehearsal (Genius idea btw, charge $100 dollars for tickets but by calling it a rehearsal you are not guranteeing the quality of the performance).

After he finished those tracks and the band and orchestra left the stage, Jay & Memphis Bleek did a good set of snippets of Jay-Z’s hits which got the crowd amped. He could have gone on all night long. The only thing that sucked is when he did your favorite song, he would cut it off and move quickly on to the next.

All and all, it was a great night.

Thanks for the tickets, ?uest…sigh…and Bill. Now if ?uest would just get good enough to be on Prince’s band so we can get some free tickets to his shows.

Two side notes:

  1. The only rappers who can do a show like this — i.e. number and quality of songs — are Jay-Z, Outkast, Run DMC (although DMC can’t perform anymore) and LL Cool J (but LL would probably ruin it by doing songs released after Mr. Smith). I’m sure I’m missing someone but I doubt it.
  2. Seeing Jay-Z Saturday took him off “The List of People I would Like to See Perform While They Are Still Relevant”. I’ve seen Prince, Omar, Lewis Taylor, D’Angelo & Me’Shell Ndegeocello. I’m going to see Fiona Apple on July 25th which would leave me with Outkast and Radiohead.
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