‘SXSW, you’re welcome!’ MC tells crowd of 2,800 before performing favorites like ’99 Problems’ and ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder.’
By Kara Warner
AUSTIN, Texas — If Jay-Z fans thought his appearance at last year’s South by Southwest Music Festival was a big deal, his first-ever solo performance at Austin City Limits Moody Theater on Monday night (March 12) was the opener to end all opening events, and bodes well for the action-packed week of events to come.
Officially entitled the “Amex Sync Show Presenting Jay-Z,” fans around the world were able to take part in the show via its livestream in conjunction with a new Twitter initiative for American Express cardholders. MTV News was lucky enough to score tickets to the highly anticipated event.
Jay took the stage shortly after 7:30 p.m. CT, dressed casually except for the gold bling around his neck and wrist, opening with “What More Can I Say?”
“SXSW, you’re welcome!” he shouted to a very diverse and enthusiastic crowd of 2,800. This was followed by familiar favorite “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” which featured the first of countless crowd sing-alongs.
As his most dedicated fans have come to expect, the man showcased his serious lyrical skills with a perfect mix of hits new and old. From “99 Problems,” to “Big Pimpin’,” to “Excuse Me Miss” (at the start of which he asked us all to “two step”) to the sweet and sentimental “Glory,” Jay kept the crowd hanging on his every word, manipulating our energy masterfully with mostly up-tempo tracks that kept everyone on their feet.
Ever the perfectionist, if Jay stumbled on a word or two in a track or didn’t feel like he was totally on point, he would stop mid-song and re-start, for which he had the crowd’s undying support.
“I don’t f— around with the words to my songs, y’all. You came to see a live show right?”
In addition to totally rocking the house, Jay seemed to be genuinely having a great time onstage. There were several times during the nearly 90-minute set when we saw him break out into full-on grins.
“I’m having a good time tonight I must say,” he told the crowd and then later showed his fans respect by acknowledging their energy. “Y’all going to make me crawl away from here tonight,” he said just before busting into “Encore.”
There were diamonds in the sky in Austin Monday night for sure.
Did you catch the livestream of Jay’s show? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section below!