Jay-Z Breaks Out Blizzard of Hits, Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson at All Points West

August 1st, 2009 by Christopher R. Weingarten Leave a reply »

Photograph by Alex Reside of RollingStone.com

Jay-Z’s first American festival show at Friday’s All Points West festival was a hard-rocking, non-stop blizzard of hits, punctuated by tributes to the Beastie Boys and Michael Jackson, and included some exclusive tastes of his upcoming album The Blueprint 3.

(Get a look at Jay-Z’s epic All Points West set and more from the New Jersey festival, in photos.)

After a ghostly clock floating above the stage counted down a solid 10 minutes, Jay-Z burst out of the wings, opening with a cover the Beastie Boys’ 1986 mook-rap classic “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” The Beasties, who had previously held Jay-Z’s headliner spot, canceled after rapper Adam “MCA” Yauch was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland. To pay tribute to an act Jay-Z says made it possible for him to be on that stage, his 10-member band tore through the Rick Rubin arrangement with vicious aplomb; and Jay didn’t even rework the line, “They call me Adam Yauch, but I’m MCA.”

(Read our report on the rest of the Day One lineup — Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend and more — here.)

Somewhat conscious of headlining a festival teeming with rock bands like Tool and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jay-Z’s band blasted through recent tracks like “Brooklyn Go Hard” and “U Don’t Know” with the chugging, brassy ferociousness of heavy metal — the latter even accompanied by Jumbotron footage of Kurt Cobain smashing his Fender. The classic “Can I Live” was given a gnarly guitar solo and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” was played with more apocalyptic fury...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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