Jay-Z kicked off the SXSW festival’s performances Monday night with a live-streamed show, in which the veteran rapper held down the stage without help from any of the rumored special guests.
While the American Express-sponsored concert, billed as the “AMEX SYNC Show,” listed the start time at 8PM EST, a sunglasses-sporting Jay-Z casually walked onto the stage more than thirty minutes past eight and dove directly into a string of hits, beginning with “What More Can I Say” from The Black Album.
The show, which was announced last week via promotional video released on YouTube, had a few minor hiccups along the way, mostly moments where Jay appeared to stumble with his own lyrics. In some cases, he’d call for the band to start again from the top.
One of the highlights was Jay’s performance of “Glory,” a song he made about the birth of his daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. To top off the moment, he offered a few words of encouragement durring a show where he said little outside of his raps.
“All the parents in the house make some noise one time,” he said. “That might be the first parent shout out in a rap.”
All the while, fans were tweeting the songs they wanted the rapper to perform next. And some, no doubt, were looking for surprise guests to file onto the stage and add another voice. Internet chatter and unconfirmed reports speculated that rappers such as Eminem or Kanye West might pop up on Jigga’s stage. None did.
However, Kanye’s signature sneaker was on full display, as Jay-Z marched around the stage calling attention to the the shoe’s glow-in-the-dark bottoms. “Shout out to my Yeezy II’s” Jay said during one break between songs.
While Monday night’s show was widely viewed online, YouTube, Twitter and XBox Live will make the concert video available on-demand from Tuesday, March 13 – Monday, March 19.
Each year the SXSW (South By South West) music and media conference, which is held in Austin, TX, brings together a diverse group of performers and media thought leaders. For a list of performers at this year’s festival, go to SXSW.com. -Erik Parker, CBS Local