*The reviews are in – and mostly positive for the Oct. 28 kickoff to the Watch the Throne tour in Atlanta’s 21,000-seat Philips Arena.
Jay-Z and Kanye West took the stage 2 ½ hours later than the scheduled 7:30 p.m. start time, and a reader at Sandrarose.com said “the sound system was crappy” and “tour promoters dumped hundreds of tickets on radio stations to give away” after it became apparent that the show would not sell out.
But the performances of the two rap stars appear to have been well received across the board. Read a sample of the reviews below. Scroll down to watch clips from the concert.
MTV called the duo’s Watch the Throne kick-off — which didn’t have a warm-up act or opener, instead a DJ played songs like “Between the Sheets” by Isley Brothers — “thrilling.” The Watch the Throne show was “marked by the duo’s overabundance of hit records,” its review said. Though the reviewer noted that the execution wasn’t 100 percent together, with technical problems affecting Jay-Z’s timing. “His ear piece short-circuited and failed to properly feed him the music and his timing was clearly affected,” the reviewer wrote. “For a time, Hov’s raps were badly off beat.” And later, Jay-Z had the music cut so the issues could be fixed, finishing “Who Gon Stop Me” a capella style.
USA Today: “Many in the high-energy crowd remained standing — and swaying and dancing and singing — for the entire 2½-hour show. At one point, as Jay-Z and West performed ‘N—as in Paris’ from their hit Watch the Throne CD, West exhorted the audience to ‘Bounce! Bounce!’ The resulting stomping had Philips Arena rocking and shaking in a way that it hasn’t for the Hawks in a long time.”
AllHipHop.com: “The Watch the Throne concert totally surpassed anything you would expect. From the 50-foot cubes, to the laser show and spectacular visuals, and in-and-out mini sets, the pair moved like a duo that has performed consistently for years.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Their enjoyment sharing the stage was obvious as they led the crowd through the refrain of ‘Run This Town’ and chanted over the heavy, chest-rattling bass in ‘Monster’ as more video of wild animals played behind them.” …“Several times during the set, the twosome flashed grins at each other or slung an arm around the other’s shoulder, although West usually followed Jay-Z’s lead with any affectionate movements.”
XXLMag.com: “The kings of hip-hop, Jay-Z and Kanye West, descended upon on Atlanta on Friday and Saturday nights to begin their Watch the Throne tour reign and the two couldn’t have been more regal during their performances.”
Idolator: “While there was virtually no way a concert featuring Jay-Z and Kanye West could ever be a dud, we have to say the duo lived up to our high expectations with last night’s kick-off of their Watch the Throne tour. The hip-hop monarchs performed at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, with an epic set list that featured selections from each artist’s own behemoth catalog of hits as well as their Watch the Throne collaborations.”