Watching the Throne
On Monday night I was a part of the spectacle known as the Kanye West/Jay-Z Watch The Throne concert. And it blew my mind. J and Ye are performers to the max. They tricked out Staples with two square stages which elevated (like the first picture) to reveal video screens on all four sides playing videos of animals, mostly sharks and dogs (your guess is as good as mine), and in one very cool instance made Jay-Z look like his very own iTunes commercial; and a bunch of insane pyrotechnics.
The two superstars looked like they were having a great time together, smiling and taking in their massive success. They played most (probably all) of the songs from their Watch The Throne album and made cameos in each others’ biggest hits - Kanye helped Jay-Z out in 99 Problems and vice versa on Gold Digger.
I wish I knew more Jay-Z songs because he is so stellar to watch. He captivates the crowd with personality and talent, it’s not hard to see why he came out of “retirement.”
This was the first time I’d seen J and the second I’d seen Kanye. Oh Kanye, his songs are so catchy and he samples other songs with the best of ‘em. Like Jay-Z, he also takes over the arena with talent, passion and personality, however his personality is a twinge more abrasive than J’s. Anybody who knows anything about Kanye knows he’s talented and, boy, does he know it. At one point in the middle of the show, he slipped on his preacher’s collar and went to work preachin’ the gospel of Kanye. He actually said, “Everybody’s always telling you to be humble, be humble. How often do people tell you to be great? Be awesome!” Didn’t know I was getting free therapy with my concert ticket, thank you Kanye.
In all, this was one of the best concerts I’ve been to. Though I could have lived without the encore being N****s in Paris eight times. Yes, eight times. Glad I wasn’t at Staples the next night when they played the song 10 times. Although they did film the video for the song that night, so that might’ve been pretty awesome.
Photography by me. December 2011.