Friday night at Yankee Stadium was something like a double header of epic proportions–not talkin’ baseball.
Two of the biggest names in music sold out the home of the Bronx Bombers for a live, musical experience of a lifetime.
Given the individual success Justin Timberlake and Jay Z have had thus far in 2013 – with Hov earning his 13th number one album and JT owning the current best seller of the year – the “Legends of the Summer” tour title is certainly fitting for the two “Suit And Tie” superstars.
Although Jay and JT may be categorized as hip-hop and pop (or neo soul according to Wikipedia) respectively, every genre on the musical spectrum was felt in some way, shape or form last night, and the visual components that complemented each individual track were nothing short of genius. No two songs were accompanied by the same set of digital graphics on the backdrop. From a virtual haze of smoke and Greek mythical statues during “Holy Grail,” to a simulation of traveling through a tunnel during “Tunnel Vision,” the imagery was spot on, taking the experience to a whole other level.
When the opening number – “Holy Grail” – came to a close, Jay antagonized the crowd asking, “You call that noise New York?” encouraging the 50,000 or so spectators to get hyped. He proceeded to rhetorically ask, “Are you ready for a legendary show?”
The audience didn’t even finish roaring before Hov hit them with “I Just Want To Love You (Give It To Me).” Though we all know the track’s a Pharrell feature, in the absence of Lil Skateboard P, JT sufficed just fine, setting a precedent for him to fill in the gaps for the features on all Hov’s tracks for the duration of the concert.
As the night progressed, there was nothing but the sounds of hits emanating from 161st street and Jerome Ave. Even in the midst of a heat wave, the crowd stayed on their feet, holding their diamonds up and spitting their favorite Hov classics, and singing along to JT’s sweet melodies.
Among some of the bangers on the setlist were “H to the Izzo,” “Excuse Me Miss,” “Senorita,” “On To The Next One,” “Like I Love You,” “Til The End of Time,” “Jigga What Jigga Who,” “U Don’t Know,” “Pusha Love Girl,” and “Summer Love.”
The two J’s made it impossible to forget that they both came to tear down the house. Despite not having an entire album’s worth of collaborations – like Jay and Kanye had for their Watch The Throne tour – they leveraged each other’s uniqueness to execute the most memorable performances possible. From JT tickling the keys on “On To The Next One” to him narrating the role of the police officer on “99 Problems,” the two artists from different worlds meshed their talents impeccably.
One of the biggest highlights of the evening was Justin Timberlake belting his heart out on Sinatra’s “New York,” doing the (fellow) legend complete justice. Jay subsequently entered the stage to follow up with “Empire State of Mind,” and brought Alicia Keys with him just to make the night more epic than we could have asked for. Shortly after, JT brought out Timbaland to join him for their chart-topping hit “Sexy Back,” making the second and last guest appearance of the night.
The last two tracks of the evening were “Suit and Tie” – during which they did whip out their suit jackets, ties, and a champagne flute for Hov – and they bowed out with “Forever Young.”
Beneath a stage beaming hot lights and in sweltering, 90-degree plus weather, I don’t know how they managed to pull off such a flawless show. I salute their passion, talent, dedication and supernatural homeostatic mechanisms alike.
If you weren’t able to witness the legends live, take a look at some our exclusive flicks after the jump.
Written by Alana Johnson (@TheLadyLana)
Photo Credit: Mark A. Macpherson