Matson on Music
Kanye West and Jay-Z rock the Dome
Posted by Andrew Matson
"These cubes go 20 feet in the air, fam," said Kanye West to the front row at the Tacoma Dome, referring to two giant platforms, one on stage and one in the center of the arena, that he and Jay-Z rapped from during their show Friday.
Somebody down there was throwing handfuls of business cards and West said if the card-thrower didn't confess, he'd throw the whole section out.*
The business-card person was eventually ejected and West and Jay-Z went on to connect with the remaining 20,000 fans. They didn't slip once — save for a few flubbed lyrics immediately following the incident. The rest of the show was near-perfect — two-and-a-half hours of hard-core hip-hop from some of the best rappers to ever do it, with almost no backing musicians and a simple stage show involving primal imagery.
Flames shot from the stage and ferocious animals were projected on the cubes' faces — panther, eagle, tiger, lion. The music was a hit parade from their solo catalogs and almost every song off their recent "Watch the Throne" album.
The theme of the event was power. Jay-Z's classics "Hard Knock Life" and "Big Pimpin'" sounded great through the huge speakers. The grand finale had a title that can be printed as "Good Friends in Paris," a currently popular song on the radio, and its drum beat sounded like boulders dropped from the sky.
Fans shouted the hyped-up lyrics as the song exploded, finished, and was repeated an absurd five times — cycling through until it became mantralike.
"I'm the black Axl Rose," rapped Jay-Z early in the concert, which was funny, because Rose's legendary '80s arena rock band Guns N' Roses was actually performing simultaneously at the smaller KeyArena in Seattle.
He meant the lyric to emphasize how hard he rocks. But that was obvious.
Exiting the Tacoma Dome with ears ringing, it was difficult to imagine anything rocking harder.
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