I've been so wrapped up in my personal drama that I didn't get a chance to tell you that I went to this concert Thursday night. I can't believe that Jay-Z got married the next day!
My mom took me because she loves MJB and had never seen her live. She wanted to attend the concert with someone who would enjoy it as much as she would and let her get her groove with abandon. We got great seats; we could see everything clear as day.
I saw Mary when I was in college...tuckergurl, do you remember this? She did a show with some one-hit wonder groups and Biggie Smalls. I remember a young and crazy Puff Daddy just ran back and forth behind Biggie wearing that bright yellow Versace shirt. Anyway, Mary was younger then and her voice wasn't as refined as it is now, but she tore it up Thursday night with the same intensity as she did more than 12 years ago.
I don't know Jay-Z's music as well as I know Mary's, but the practically sold out, predominately white audience sure did. There was a huge screen behind the stage that served as the "set" of the show, displaying the skyline of NYC, close-ups of the band and the performers, and other graphics. It was basically a giant music video for the live music going on. Sometimes the camera would turn on the audience and pan over them. These young, busty girls and wanna-be-down boys were rapping all the words to his songs, and not just the chorus, either! My mom was shocked at how many white people knew their music. I told her, "This is the definition of cross-over."
Regardless, we had a great time. Both Mary and Jay-Z's songs sounded better live than they do on CD...or MP3...and they had great stage presence. Jay-Z would get the entire arena...almost 20,000 seats!...to pump his diamond sign with their hands. Mary didn't even have to sing "I'm Going Down," the whole place belted out all the words. I must say, I joined in wholeheartedly.
By the end of the night, I was exhausted. It was great to release and let music take you over. That hasn't happened for a while and it felt damn good.