From the moment Jay-Z and Kanye West took the stage at Philips Arena — on identical cubes with images of vicious Rottweilers rising from both ends of the venue — there was an inescapable feeling that there was going to be something regal about this show. After all, it’s the Watch the Throne tour, and Kanye and Jay did not disappoint.
The dynamic duo kicked things off with “H.A.M.,” the first unofficial single from their joint “Watch the Throne” album. From there it was a dizzying, highly-entertaining, at times emotional 2 1/2 plus hour thrill ride of hit after hit. No special guests showed up at the concert, but Jay and Yay have so many hits between them that was a minor factor. The spectacular light and laser show and fiery pyrotechnics certainly helped.
There was also no way the two could perform all of their hits, and it was noticeable that Jay didn’t perform any songs from his classic debut “Reasonable Doubt” or his “American Gangster” album.
After warming up the receptive crowd a huge American flag was unfurled on the main stage as Jay-Z and Kanye appeared together to perform their smash hit “Otis.” For the rest of the night the two superstars alternated between their respective hits and songs from “Watch the Throne.” At one point Kanye even shed a tear while performing overly-Auto Tuned versions of “Heartless” and “Runaway.”
Raised in Chicago, a lot of fans might not realize that Kanye was actually born in Atlanta and his father still lives here. Jay made a point to announce to the crowd early in the show, referencing Yay, “He was born in ATL!”
Jay also proclaimed proudly later on in the evening: “ATL, you are now looking at the best of black excellence!”
One of the most poignant moments of the show was when the arena played Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” and everyone sang along right before Jay and Yay went into “No Church in the Wild.” The only other moment that came close to that was when the two stars had everyone hold up a cell phone or lighter during “Made in America,” illuminating the entire arena.
Even if the crowd was expecting T.I. to come out for his verse on the “N*ggas in Paris” remix, they weren’t too disappointed since Jay commanded the sound man to “start that sh*t over” as Philips went nuts.
In the end Watch the Throne was an amazing show that lived up to all its hype. But should we expect anything less from two of hip hop’s greatest talents?
Check out some exclusive video from the show RIGHT HERE!
Here’s the partial set list from Friday night’s show:
- Who Gon Stop Me
- Welcome to the Jungle
- Gotta Have It
- N—- What, N—- Who
- Can’t Tell Me Nothing
- Jesus Walks
- Diamonds from Sierra Leone
- Where I’m From
- Public Service Announcement
- You Don’t Know
- Run This Town
- Murder to Excellence
- New Day
- Hard Knock Life
- Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
- Good Life
- Empire State of Mind
- On to the Next One
- Dirt Off Your Shoulder
- Touch the Sky
- All of the Lights
- Big Pimpin’
- Gold Digger
- 99 Problems
- No Church in the Wild
- Lift Off
- N—– in Paris
- Made in America
- Why I Love You
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