Jay-Z blurrs across stage
On second thought, no need to review last night's Jay-Z-Mary J. Blige concert.
Or at least it's a review that writes itself: Mary J. steps on stage and begins emoting immediately, encouraging fathers to love children and couples to leave the drama behind. A pair of actors appear to demonstrate what the emotionally fraught couple in (every single one of) her songs looks like.
Within seconds of Mary's last note, J-Hova emerges from the machine-induced fog with throwing up his iconic Roc-a-fella diamond hand signal. And, like MJB, the show was not unlike his on-wax performances: flashy, brassy, and professional, with very little surprise. (Perennial Jay-Z sidebar Memphis Bleek popped out from backstage, but that's comical more than anything.)
Most interesting about Jay-Z on this night, though, is - and this is probably not widely recognized - his likeness to Michael Jackson. And not physically, or just the endless hits-slash-King of Rap comparisons. Outfit changes, pyrotechnics, a huge commotion from the live backing band, videos celebrating his own career, a massive cross-sectional appeal. Perhaps with another chart-topping album or two (he already ties Elvis for 10 number ones), and more Las Vegas-style shows like on Wednesday, the MJ-JZ contrast will be more evident.