A Mullen At Yankee Stadium: "RAP is not my genre but that is about to change"
It’s Saturday night at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY, to see one of my all-time favorite performers. The stage is framed like a Retro Amphitheater with curves reminding me of a piano. Scarlet. Smoky. Sexy. What a legendary night in NYC!
B & W images of Alpheus and Arethusa (as featured on Magna Carta Holy Grail). The myth says that Arethusa began to perspire profusely from fear and transformed into a stream and Alpheus flowed through the sea to reach her and mingle with her waters. How appropriate for an incredibly humid 93 degree evening. It is dripping HOT in the sexiest way possible.
Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z sharing the stage under a cloudy sky, open with Holy Grail. This has quickly become a favorite song. People came here to party! Immediately the crowd is dancing, singing and rapping along.
The two Superstars could not be more different – Southerner meets Northerner – Timberlake wearing a black fedora, chic bermuda shorts and white & black linen shirt; Jay-Z with his NJ Nets baseball cap on backward, white t-shirt, black jeans and white sneakers. This show is not about wardrobe or theatrics. It is about the music. And the music is amazing!! I feel it through my body.
RAP is not my genre … too heavy, too much cursing, too much negativity (or too much reality) … but that is about to change. Jay-Z has an amazing presence and immediately I love him – Mr. NYC performing with a southern gentleman. Yeah, I’m up for the PARTY along with tens of thousands of NYers, dancing – everyone is on their feet.
Here comes the rain as they break into a montage of music … a gentle breeze … I Just Wanna Love U; Jay-Z rapping and Justin singing the hook; … Rock Your Body … said the air is thick, it’s smelling right (folks in front of us light one up) …love is here on the floor. Jackson Five, I Want You Back … when I had you to myself, I didn’t want you around …say H.O.V. … H to the Izzo. (according to Wiki refers to a pseudonym given to himself (“Jayhova”) for his self-proclaimed status as the god of MC’s, a reference to Jehova. Modest.) The two sharing the stage like old friends finishing each other’s sentences, I mean songs – flashing rectangular strobe light effect.
… (JT) excuse me …baby…you’re so contagious … I can’t take it … (JZ) rapping. JZ exits during performance of Senorita – JT on the organ. JZ back for On to the Next One. The crowd knows all the lyrics but I have never heard the song. Heavy like the humidity, intense … dancing without knowing the words which as best I can tell is about gluttony and JZ’s perceived jealousy from others. All for success and forward thinking but where is the humility? Where is the gratitude? No looking back, I guess.
Here comes the rain and it feels good … Like I Love You (JT) …I just wanna love you baby …snakeskin on the screen. Justin Timberlake is one hardworking performer, moving around the stage with relentless energy.
My Love … if I wrote you a symphony …sky begins clearing and the moon is peeking through the clouds … I can see us holding hands, walking on the beach, toes in the sand … … great version of the song – very rock & roll with the electric guitar. JZ is back on the stage with Big Pimpin. Can’t really understand the lyrics but read them this morning and …you know I thug them, fuck em, love em, leave em … Cause I don’t fuckin need em … about sums it up. JT returns to the stage with Tunnel Vision which is, lyrically, the complete opposite of Big Pimpin … from woman hating to loving a woman passionately … interesting choice of succession.
The rain is holding off and giving way to clear skies, not cooling off, but there is something very sexy about being so damn hot and listening to great music … sweaty bodies close together … dancing. Feel like a candle sitting outside in the sweltering heat … dripping. The crowd loves the dynamic duo.
Jay to the Z is back on stage…the screen behind him looks like newspaper clippings which I am sure are controversial. No idea what the songs are but the crowd certainly does … every word. Leaves me wishing I did. JZ is looking very Run DMCish with all the chains. Crowd is roaring. Turn this bitch up! Explosion on the screen, it’s like a flash back of Run DMC (one of my first concerts as a teen … reminds me of going out dancing every weekend with my friends). Set includes Jigga What, Jigga Who, U Don’t Know, 99 Problems … but the bitch ain’t one of them… Walk This way… Clique (Kanye cover), PSA, Hard-Knock Life …
… and JT is back in the spotlight (after playing Jay Z’s right hand man) with Pusher Love Girl. I appreciate the transition … I can’t wait to fall in love with you, you can’t wait to fall in love with me … this just can’t be summer love … Love Stoned is a super sexy song, great to dance. The background singers, musicians, retro stage and synchronized movements make me think of the Temptations. …Slows things down with Until the End of Time (not familiar with this song but it’s good to take a seat since I am wearing 4” wedges and have been dancing all night). Future Sex / Love Sound is … HOT, HOT, HOT… foreplay …What Goes Around Comes Around doesn’t seem like the natural progression (to climax) but I love the song. Cry Me a River … water in the background. Humidity is finally dying down.
Can I do something new NYC? Hell yes! The band and back-up singers look amazing with the giant strobe light behind them. Take Back the Night reminds me of George Benson … and the horns say … oh ya! Doesn’t feel like a modern day performance. Has a timeless quality to it. I like the song. This is my kind of music.
Jay-Z is back and the crowd wakes UP … like catching a second wind! There is a family behind me and I’m wondering if they’re second guessing bringing their teen daughter to a concert where it really is a big party. Alcohol. Marijuana. She’s having a great time. I think it is great NYC Pop Culture and amazing music. …you’re now tuned into the motherfing greatest. Best rapper alive, … Niggas in Paris, Tom Ford … nothing light about his music.
JT is inside an orange circle, nice jazzy moment and a fabulous young crooner … bringing harmony to the largest city in the USA. The show of community is amazing! Everyone has their arms around each other. Hits me at the core makes my heart beat faster moment. … I love it ! And the transition to JZ is so abrupt like ice to razors … but still subtle. Empire State of Mind … air feels good. Saturday night, I am a Jay-Z fan.
Grey shirt like I was wondering (white -> black -> grey). Mirrors a great song … yellow stage with the band and back-up singers looking like reflections …crowd is singing in sync with JT, thousands and thousands of clapping hands nice, smooth transition to Run This Town… feel it comin’ in the air, hear the screams from everywhere, I’m addicted to the thrill, it’s a dangerous love affair …
It was a long HOT night of dancing. Encore … chanting of HOVA, Sexyback which was a great moment … then Suite & Tie. I have listened to this song more times than I care to mention and love the groove. Been working on my moves for months and now I get to dance to it with 50,000+ people!
The final song, Young Forever, is lost on me because, what I am really thinking is… let’s get the hell out of here while the going is good. Everyone is still in the stands but Charlie wants to see it to the end.
And it ends … and tens of thousands of people are exiting at the same time. Everyone is so close, packed like sardines. Feel like I am walking through a mobbed subway on a day … like today. What strikes me funny is how I feel as though we are being herded in Temple Grandin fashion. I am tired, dehydrated and remember … I don’t like crowds. And then space, ahh … The parking fiasco is a totally different story for another day. Happy to get home after a spectacular evening!
Listened to JZ today to complete the review but probably won’t tomorrow. His lyrics are very demeaning to woman but I can appreciate it for what it is. Justin … love your music!