The ever modest Kanye West announced that “this is the best you will ever see in your life” as he dazzled under the spotlights of London 02 Arena. And last night, Through the Door Promotions was there to catch all of the action. Wearing a Givenchy leather T-shirt, Kanye West was joined on stage by a black clad Jay Z to present the biggest and most elaborate and electrifying show the 02 has ever seen! The two greatest performers nicknamed ‘the Throne’ who both have careers spanning over a decade, united to perform the track list from last years Watch the Throne album as well as diverting to their own extensive back catalogues. Jay Z’s best solo efforts provided well known songs including Empire State of Mind and Run this Town, while Kanye took the audience on a journey through his career performing songs from his first album College Dropout; Jesus Walks and All Falls Down as well as his more recent tracks All of the Lights and Stronger. And unsurprisingly, these solo choices were received with everyone out of their seats dancing and raising their glasses and with Jay Z a veteran of live performances, it is no revelation that he knows how to please a large crowd. And Kanye West must have been extremely satisfied to see over 23,000 people chant the lyrics to 2008 hit Heartless.
The opening sequence saw the pair stand aloft two vast pillars of light, upon which were projected scenes of wild animals. On such scene depicted an ocean view that hosted a great white shark swimming around, portraying the unnerving affect that the superstars were about to fall into their watery graves. Other animals featured included a cheetah and a vicious Doberman. And this animal theme was continued as they launched into ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ with images projected on a large screen including tigers, jaguars and cougars.
Other tracks featured further images that provided a respectful nod to the original music video. Otis came complete with a large American flag whist ‘No Church in the Wild’ offered a petrol bomb treatment.
Michael Jackson was also well and truly present at the arena; with Kanye claiming MJ had passed his gift onto the pair. And the banter continued during ‘All of the Lights’ where he stopped the track to announce, “This is the one time you can get away with it!” concerning the lyric following “Something wrong, I hold my head, MJ gone, our n**** dead!”
As Atlantic recently commented upon, one of the trademarks of the Throne tour has been the finale and Through the Door Promotions were not disappointed! “Big Pimpin”, “Gold Digger” and “99 Problems” were played in quick succession with the encore of “Paris” being played five times. It is the biggest hip-hop song of the past two years and the entirety of the performance has now set a benchmark to which all stadium hip-hop will be judged.