Jay-Z Rocks SXSW in Hit-HeavyConcert

Jay-Z **, rapper-mogul-Blue Ivy’s
dad, played one of the most
anticipated SXSW events Monday
night, with a set list heavy on hits
and at least partially crowd-
sourced. In addition to soliciting
fan feedback for his set, Jay-Z at
times let the crowd at the Moody
Theater in Austin take over for
him, at one point letting them
carry a chorus while he took a sip
from a water bottle.
The audience for the Amex Sync
Show Presenting Jay-Z, which was
largely made up of American
Express users who won tickets to
see the superstar in an intimate
venue, was also studded with a
number of tech and media celebs.
New York Times editor Jill
Abramson was there with her
son, Cantora Records co-founder
Will Griggs; Foursquare founder
Dennis Crowley and members of
the team from hotly tipped photo-
editing startup Aviary mingled at
pre-show reception before
rocking out.
SXSW HQ on Billboard: GET ALL
While the venue might have been
on the small side for a Jay-Z show,
the audience was almost certainly
larger than those contained in the
Moody Theater — the entire gig
was streamed live and will be
available online for a week. Even
with that, Jay-Z seemed relaxed
and almost playful, although at a
few points he cut songs short
and restarted them.
The show kicked off with “What
More Can I Say,” then plunged
right in to a hit parade, including
“Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” “99
Problems,” “Heart of the City,” and
“Run This Town.” He took a few
breaks between tracks to engage
with the crowd, at one point
running through the usual
“who’s from Texas/New York/
west coast/midwest” shoutouts,
before asking “who here is from
Nova Scotia?” to be greeted by
the sound of crickets. While there
were rumors Kanye West might
join Jay on stage, he didn’t bring
out any special guests, or even
show off any Roc Nation talent.
The show closed with an
energetic version of “Empire State
of Mind,” (after an abortive effort
at the track), then, fittingly,
What More Can I Say
Dirt Off Your Shoulder
Where I’m From
U Don’t Know
99 Problems
Jigga What
Big Pimpin’
Heart Of The City
I Know
Girls, Girls, Girls
Excuse Me Miss
La La La
I Jus Wanna Love You
On To The Next One
Jigga (What’s My Name)
Run This Town
Lucifer / Free Mason
Beach Chair
Hard Knock Life
Empire State of Mind


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