Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jun 13th 2010 11:00AM by Benjy Eisen
Jay-Z's arrival at Bonnaroo was quite a different experience. "There's a lot of love here, tonight," he told the crowd, halfway through his set. "I appreciate all of you -- in fact, I want to make Bonnaroo my second home, if that's okay with you." If the roar of the crowd was any indication, yeah, everyone thought that'd be just fine.
When Jay-Z first took the stage, following a transcendent set by Stevie Wonder, he gave a shout-out not only to Mr. Wonder, but also to local native Jack White, whose band the Dead Weather played the main stage before Wonder. The rest of the night, shout-outs were reserved mostly for audience members, as Jay-Z would point out certain people, identify them by what they were wearing, and acknowledge, "I see you!" But when he said, "You over there in the tie-dye, I see you," nobody was quite sure who he was talking about. This is Bonnaroo -- every fifth person is in a tie-dye. We're pretty sure Jay-Z may have played to a crowd this big (estimated at 70,000), and this stoned (he is HOVA, after all), but never a crowd with this many southern hippies.
Jay-Z continued to shower the audience in love, even bringing someone on stage from the front pit when he found out it was her birthday: some lucky girl named Maggie had 70,000 people sing happy birthday to her for her 19th. She's gonna have a good year.
Musically, Jay-Z showcased many of the standout tracks from his latest, 'The Blueprint III,' including a rousing version of 'Empire State of Mind' featuring Bridget Kelly in the role of Alicia Keys. But he also unleashed all of his biggest hits ('99 Problems,' 'Big Pimpin') and took the crowd -- most of whom, it's safe to say, were seeing him for the first time -- through deep cuts from his entire career.
"I know there are a lot of people here," he said. "Some people may know me, some people may not -- my name is Jay-Z." We're pretty sure that even the newbies knew that much. "We're gonna do a lot of old ones, right now," he continued. "We're gonna turn this place into a nightclub." Despite the mud, the humidity and the Tennessee skyline, mission accomplished.