This week, the hottest show on the road made its stop in NYC. After hitting New Jersey’s IZOD center this weekend, Jay-Z and Kanye West each made their return to the Garden Monday night for the Watch The Throne tour. Luckily for me, I was able to be in attendance thanks to one of my good friends Darren Gee (shout out to him for looking out). By the time we got there (around 8:30), the house was already packed. There were no opening acts or hosts for the show. The Garden was packed with fans patiently awaiting the arrival of the two biggest superstars rap has to offer. The bars and restaurants were all extremely packed. Celebrities made their fashionably late appearances about 10 minutes before show time. As my boy Darren and I were walking back from the bar, we saw Diddy walk by, followed by a mob of anxious fans. We got back to our seats only to find Spike Lee sitting in the stands directly to the right of us at the end of our row. So before the show even started, the star power had already arrived.
Once 9:00 came around, fans began to get settled in their seats in anticipation of the lights cutting out. Once they went out, the crowd erupted with excitement. After a good minute of silence to let fans settle down a little, the Lex Luger sample goes off and “H.A.M” drops. With Yeezy on one end and Jiggaman on another, the show kicks off. They follow up “H.A.M” with “Who Gon Stop Me” and the special effects finally start to take place as two LED platforms rise about 20 feet from the ground for the first time.
The introduction is nothing short of a breathtaking sign of things to come as the show only becomes more and more spectacular. The LED screens light up the darkness with crazy visuals and close ups.
After the two finish their first set of songs together on opposite ends of the stage, they quickly adjust to the main stage to perform “Otis” together. In their first break in-between songs on stage, Kanye gives his hello to the fans â€“ with a sarcastic “If you don’t know by now, my name is Kanye West, and I’m from the Chi-Town.” Obviously â€“ and especially in his hometown â€“ Jay-Z needs no intro, so to follow up, Jay-Z takes over and introduces himself with his many different nicknames/monikers and follows with “You already know where I’m from.” Of course, the crowd erupts again and “Where I’m From” drops.
The home crowd embraces him with open arms. After “Where I’m From” concludes, “N—a What N—a Who” drops and Jay doesn’t hesitate to get the crowd involved, setting the tone for a night filled with high volume energy.
Yeezy makes his first solo appearance with “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” wearing a very questionable, but very “Kanye” leather skirt with black pants, sporting none other than the infamous Air Yeezy 2. The first Air Yeezy was worn by Mr. West on his “Glow In The Dark” concert back in 2008, so it was only fitting for him to design the follow-up shoe for the WTT tour.
The highlight moment of the show was their performance of “New Day.” The crowd was definitely feeling the emotional track. You could tell by the look on their faces this was their personal favorite song from the album, and the two stars performed it that way. There were no outrageous lights flashing for this one, no 30-foot LED screens, no extra special effects, but only the music. Kanye and Jay both took a seat in order to make sure they didn’t take anything away from the lyrics of the song. Before he got into his verse, Kanye told the fans:
“This song is more than special to me, I feel this is the realest verse I ever wrote, feel me on this one.”
If you’ve ever heard “New Day,” you know how deep the song is, so watching them perform it made it feel as special to the crowd as it is to them.
There is only one word to describe the conclusion of the show. Extravagant. They would perform the biggest hit on the album, “Nâ€”as in Paris,” and then give the expected fraud exit. After the crowd chants for an encore, the two come out and perform the song two more times. After the third time, they each performed a slew of classic verses from old favorites, wrapped up the show with the album-concluding “Why I Love You” and made their exits.
If you didn’t get the chance to “Watch The Throne” at MSG, you missed out. There’s really no telling when Jay-Z or Kanye will make their return to the Garden but there are still more dates left on the schedule in other cities, so I strongly recommend that you do your best to try and get a ticket. The show is well worth it. If you liked the album (which you obviously did) there’s no question you’ll love the concert.