“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.”
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.
“U Don’t Know”
“On to the Next One”
“No Church in the Wild”
“Dirt Off Your Shoulders”
“I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”
“Ni**as in Paris”
“Beach is Better” (Interlude)
“Drunk in Love” (with Beyoncé)
“Public Service Announcement”
“Run this Town”
“Empire State of Mind”
“Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”