Thursday, 24 November 2011

Review - The Throne (Jay Z & Kanye West) (Toronto, ON)

The Throne (Jay Z & Kanye West)
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Brief review here: that shit cray.

Jay Z has built a reputation as a solid live performer and Kanye continues to take his game to another level. Show kicked off with tracks from their collaborative album (Watch the Throne), switched back and forth between solo sets and joint tracks, and so on.

The show was very simple (no guests) yet at the same time contained the right amount of excess (playing "N*ggas in Paris" three times, less than Montreal the night before). Starting off on giant cubes that rose from each end of the arena to perform their 2011 single "H.A.M." they set the tone for the evening, which led into more tracks from the album and eventually breaking off into a series of solo sets as well. They would perform from the main stage at the ACC as well as return to their own individual spots for memorable mini-sets featuring the likes of "Runaway", "Stronger", and "On To The Next One". Overall, solid use of the venue and they made sure everybody in the arena had a good view at least a couple times.

You either like Kanye or you don't, so that may turn people off, but for somebody such as myself who is a fan, this show was awesome. Jay seems less polarizing as the setlist dipped into quite a bit of his catalogue and reminded alot of us of just how many recognizable tracks he has. One moment before "All of the Lights" where Kanye restarted the song twice in order to make sure all of the lights were on seemed like it might have been planned, or was it? This one could definitely feed into the haters, but those same haters seem to fuel Kanye's music these days so perhaps he's doing it intentionally now.

Someday I may revisit this review and go into greater detail, but I'll leave it brief and summarize by saying it was both very simple and over the top (weird, right?). The show is/was expensive but for big fans of either artist (or both) it is catered directly to you and was worth it.

Possibly the biggest shock of the night: Drake did not appear on stage.

Here's the beast of a setlist...

(Throne Music)
Who Gon Stop Me
Gotta Have It

Where I'm From
Nigga What? Nigga Who?

Can't Tell Me Nothing
Flashing Lights
All Falls Down
Jesus Walks

Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix)
Public Service Announcement
U Don't Know
Run This Town

Power (Remix)

Made in America
New Day
Hard Knock Life

Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
(New York, New York)
Empire State of Mind


On To The Next One
Dirt Off Your Shoulder
I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)

That's My Bitch

Good Life
Touch the Sky
All of the Lights

Big Pimpin'
Gold Digger
99 Problems
(What A Wonderful World)
No Church in the Wild
(Lift Off)
Niggas In Paris
Niggas In Paris

Niggas In Paris

Album Breakdown:
Watch the Throne: 11
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: 4
The Black Album: 4
Graduation: 4
The Blueprint 3: 3
Late Registration: 3
The Blueprint: 2
The College Dropout: 2
Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life: 2
The Dynasty: Roc La Familia: 1
808's and Heartbreak: 1
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1: 1
Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter: 1

Author Edit: "...Paris" got played 5 times on night two (November 24th); otherwise the setlist was identical.

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