Review: Jay Z at The O2 Arena 2013

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Last week Superbreak’s Customer Marketing Executive, Ashley Wilcox witnessed one of the biggest shows to hit London this year – Jay Z at The O2 Arena. Find out here if the worldwide superstar lived up to expectations… 

Ashley at The O2 for Jay Z
Ashley at The O2 for Jay Z

I like to see myself as someone who has a rather eclectic taste in music, and I’ve seen my fair share of bands and artists on dingy bar stages, massive arena tours and festival fields up and down the country. It was last year however that I realised I had witnessed my favourite performance of all, Jay Z and Kanye West on their incredible ‘Watch the Throne Tour’. I was surprised myself when I walked away completely mind-blown, but with it being my first time at the London O2 Arena and witnessing the more than impressive show with two of the world’s biggest artists, I realised that not many could beat it.

So, when I heard Jay Z was to return back to the O2 as part of his ‘Magna Carta’ world tour, it was simply a must that I went. Luckily, with Superbreak I got this chance and after weeks of prepping myself with nostalgic playlists of some of Jay Z’s older material, I was more than excited for a long weekend break down to London.

Jay Z at The O2 Arena

I attended the first night of his 4 night London O2 run and the atmosphere both heading to the arena on the underground and inside the O2 itself was amazing! The anticipation was clearly too much for a lot of us.

We waited for what felt like an eternity for Jay Z to appear, too huge to need a support act, he came on stage and with little lighting and special effects needed he kick started his set with ‘Higher Intro’ and ‘U Don’t Know’. From here on in he owned the stage with no gimmicks, just him and his microphone.

With an impressive back catalogue of songs, he mixed new and old throughout the show and the crowd clearly showed appreciation for his trademark stuff, everyone were on their feet and the sound of a full capacity arena singing along was epic!

Timberland made a brief appearance on stage allowing the crowd to carry on singing along to some of his classics but it wasn’t long before Jay Z returned and owned the stage once more.

Jay Z at The O2 Arena

The highlight of the evening was the onslaught of the back to back encore songs. Starting of course with ‘Can I get an Encore do ya’ want more…’, moving into ‘Empire State of Mind’, ‘Izzo’, ‘Hard Knock Life’ and finally finishing with ‘Young Forever’ which with the sound of the whole arena singing along was a spine tingling experience.

So overall, Jay Z’s solo tour was nothing like my favourite ‘Watch The Throne’ tour but this was not a bad thing. He clearly had enough charisma and presence to pull off such an impressive set list with barely any staging and affects to distract the crowd. My only grievance was that his set flew by in what felt like minutes not hours, but they do say time flies when you’re having fun!

Now I’m already looking forward to my next Superbreak O2 concert which will be Taylor Swift in February… I did mention I have an eclectic taste didn’t I?

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