JAY-Z [What Stage| Saturday, June 12 @ 11:30 p.m.]
For anyone not familiar with the original KanyeGate (Yo MTV Video Music Awards I'm really happy for you and I'ma let you finish, but Bonnaroo had one of the worst Kanye flake-outs of all time), here's a quick recap: for his 2008 Bonnaroo appearance, the polarizing icon took the stage two hours after his scheduled start time -- rendering the gimmickry of his Glow In The Dark tour useless, as the sun had already come up. And lasting bitterness remains, to judge from the "Fuck Kanye" tags that have graced the walls surrounding the main concert area at every Roo since.
No doubt aiming to erase the memory of Kanye's missteps, Jay-Z had a clock on the JumboTron counting down his arrival (and popped mere minutes before his scheduled start time). After gracing us with the intro to The Dynasty, he launched into his verse from Kanye's "Diamonds" remix, followed by "Run This Town" (which, on album, features the dastardly villain West himself). He then followed that with "D.O.A.," a track poignantly featuring the lyrics " 'Ye told me to kill y'all to keep it 100." Bold move, Mr. Carter. Bold move.
It speaks volumes of an artist when you've already seen his act twice in the past year and he's playing at the same time as a number of appetizing alternatives, and yet you still can't pull yourself away. Say what you will about his recent studio output, the man embodies stadium status. He's captivating, as you anticipate the beat to drop on "Public Service Announcement." Energetic, as he instructs you to pick up whatever you can find and swing it around your head during "Big Pimpin'." Creative, as he mashes up his own songs with U2 ("Heart of the City"/"Sunday Bloody Sunday") and Aerosmith ("A Dream"/"Dream On"). And personable, as he sincerely and humbly bows down to what appeared to be the most densely packed crowd of the weekend during "Thank You."
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