Jay Z and Surprise Guest Beyonce Tackle DirecTV's Super Bowl Party

Rapper channels his inner rock star on a New York pier

Jay-Z and Beyonce perform onstage at DirecTV Super Saturday Night at Pier 40 on February 1st, 2014 in New York City.
Kevin Mazur/Getty
February 2, 2014 9:39 AM ET

"I want y'all to know you're at a rock & roll show," said Jay Z near the beginning of a brisk, 80-minute set at the DirecTV Super Saturday Night party, addressing an invite-only crowd dressed in everything from business suits to Elway jerseys. It certainly felt like a rock show at times, as Jay's small band (guitars, keys, drums – just like the Doors) blazed through heavy versions of "U Don't Know," "On to the Next One," and "99 Problems." While the show was intended to be a Super Bowl bash, his screens played images that were more appropriate for a Megadeth show – war, TV static, FBI warnings, black American flags, and documents that mentioned WMDs. He prompted some crowd surfing for "Ni**as in Paris" ("Just lay out, my G") and even got flashed like he was Vince Neil. "Oh shit, she just flashed me," he said, shocked. "I'm not into that, don't do that again."

Where Does Jay Z's 'Picasso Baby' Rank Among the 100 Best Songs of 2013?

That might have been the first sign that Jay Z's wife, Beyoncé, was in attendance. The second sign was a performance of last year's "Beach is Better (Interlude)" with its line "Girl why you never ready for as long as you took / You better look like Halle Berry . . . or Beyoncé." Sure enough, that promptly summoned Queen B for a performance of her current single "Drunk in Love." Unlike the couple's sexy showing at the Grammys, this one was all smiles and hugs and laughs, with one of the most famous rappers in the world gladly playing hypeman.

Their chemistry – you know, being drunk in love and all – was the highlight of an event that closed with an audience member doing his best Sinatra to open up "Empire State of Mind," and, after a few more songs, a version of "Young Forever" dedicated to Nelson Mandela. As for the many celebrities expected to appear? We don't know if Tyra Banks showed up, but we definitely saw Artie Lange.

Set List

"U Don't Know"
"On to the Next One"
"Holy Grail"
"99 Problems"
"Picasso Baby"
"Dead Presidents"
"No Church in the Wild"
"Big Pimpin'"
"Dirt Off Your Shoulders"
"I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)"
"Ni**as in Paris"
"Tom Ford"
"Beach is Better" (Interlude)
"Drunk in Love" (with Beyoncé)
"Public Service Announcement"
"Run this Town"
"Empire State of Mind"
"Izzo (H.O.V.A.)"
"Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"
"Young Forever"

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »