The acts were hot, the stage was hot, and the caliber of performance was electric last night as Jay-Z and Eminem performed the first music event ever at Bronx’s new Yankee Stadium. Just as the last rain clouds gave way to a clear night, the concert opened to 50,000 plus screaming fans who locked their attention to the stage.
Fans got more than they bargained for when unannounced guests took the stage one after the other. The four hour cavalcade of stars started with Hip-Hop newbies B.o.B and J. Cole who warmed up the stage before Eminem took over at 8:35 for a 90 minute set.
Eminem appeared in all black and performed ‘Won’t Back Down’ and ‘3 A.M.’ from his latest albums Recovery and Relapse. Later he had the crowd chanting, ‘Free Lil Wayne’ as he performed the Weezy duet ‘No Love’ before segueing into what could be called a performance of his greatest hits.
Jay-Z took the stage dressed in all black as well to represent NY to the fullest and show what his star power can do. After a shout out to recently deceased Yankee’s owner, George Steinbrenner, he opened with the “Dynasty Intro.” In a matter of minutes, Kanye West, draped in all red leather appeared to perform ‘Run This Town’ with Jay. West went on to perform “Can’t Tell Me Nothin” and “The Good Life” and was joined by a neon clad Nicki Minaj to perform the remixes to “Power” and “Monster.”
After Kanye’s spotlight in the show, Swizz Beats came out to perform “Onto the Next One’ before Eminem reappeared to perform his duet with Jigga “Renegade.” Jay-Z soon commanded the stage again to spit ’99 Problems,’ ‘Jigga What, Jigga Who,’ ‘Big Pimpin’ ‘ and ‘Hard Knock Life.’ Just when the crowd thought there could be no more cameos, Mary J. Blige showed up to assist Jay on “Heart of the City.” Mary went on to sing ‘I’m Goin’ Down,’. Shortly after, Drake appeared with another assist to perform “Light Up,” along with his labelmate Nicki Minaj. As if that wasn’t enough, Beyonce took the stage to sing “Young Forever” with her husband.
Before the incredible night drew to an end, Jay-Z performed his ode to the city of dreams, “Empire State of Mind” with Bridgette Kelly who stood in for the very pregnant Alicia Keys. Afterward Jigga performed ‘Jigga My N—a,’ ‘Izzo,’ ‘Where I’m From,” ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder.’ and ‘Encore’ before proclaiming “This night was like a gift for me. I hope I returned it tenfold.” From where we were sitting, we would say yes! What an awesome and historic concert.