Jay-Z and Kanye West, forming the collective known as The Throne, were well into their zone at the HP Pavilion in San Jose on Wednesday night (December 14). The duo stopped by the Bay Area while on their North American trek in support of their collaborative effort, ‘Watch The Throne,’ and easily gave one of the best shows Hip Hop fans have ever seen.
The show kicked off with the two superstars on smaller stages, each placed on opposite sites of the arena’s floor, as the two faced off against one another going “H.A.M.” These stage supports started to rise halfway through the song, forming a cube-like structure, as the two rappers continued performing atop these monstrous video towers. Topped with a laser light show, much like Pink Floyd, and pyro flames erupting from the stage and the ceiling, Jay and Kanye remarkably produced one of the best arena shows ever. It was at this point that they set the bar for the rest of the night, and for every artist.
Assembling back together on the main stage, the two traded verses through some of their WTT tracks including the hit, “Otis” and “What You Need,” before the two rappers introduced themselves to the roaring crowd. After that, the show transitioned into collaborative segments of ‘Watch The Throne’ tracks intertwined with solo performances as they each perform hits from their own catalogs. In Jay-Z’s case, his early hits such as “H To The Izzo,” “99 Problems,” “Big Pimpin’,” “Jigga What, Jigga Who,” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” were easily crowd favorites, as was his pop smash “Empire State of Mind.” Not to be outdone, Kanye comfortable held his own with singles like “Stronger,” “All Falls Down,” “Gold Digger,” “Jesus Walks,” “Touch The Sky,” and “Good Life.”
For “All of the Lights,” which Kanye referred to as the Grammy-nominated Song of the Year, he had the song performance restarted four times until every single light in the arena was turned on like he demanded (he ensured the crowd he wanted us to get our money’s worth) and the entire crowd yelled out the Michael Jackson line to his level of content. The audience was too into the performance to even care about him blundering the start of the second verse.
The two met once more on the main stage and spit back and forth to tracks like “Made In America” and “New Day” before getting into the smash hit, “N—-s in Paris,” which they performed for a second time in a row as Jay yelled out, “Again!” after Kanye’s verse. Both times, the audience rhymed along with the duo word-for-word before they said their farewells. However, the fans at the Pavilion were nowhere ready to leave, and they guys reemerged for an encore performance of the chart-topping single once more.
The entire night was almost a celebration of sorts of the biggest hits in Hip Hop in the past decade. Couple the good music with the high level of production and high energy levels from on stage and off, and you’ll have what’s known as the “Watch The Throne” concert. With such an unforgettable performance, there’s no doubting that Jay and Kanye have reached that “stadium status.” The only crowd reaction after the show? “Again!”