BEST THRONE-WATCHING: Jay Z and Kanye West
Rarely do you get a chance to see Jay Z and Kanye West perform together in anything smaller than an arena, but that's exactly what fans got when the pair played the 3,000-capacity Austin Music Hall. The stage for the Samsung-sponsored concert featured a 12-foot-tall video cube and a similarly sized setup toward the middle of the concert hall, with the two MCs rising from the interiors of each station. Seeing both solo and in tandem – they were off the platforms and on a traditional stage for most of the night – offered a sort of living Venn Diagram of each man's talents and lyrical strong points, with Jay confidently displaying his up-from-the-bootstraps-and-into-the-penthouse persona and West charismatically airing a miles-long list of perceived slights. And that was before they each dusted off classics like Jay's "Big Pimpin'," and "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" and West's "Stronger" and "Gold Digger." After another trip up on the video cubes for some solo cuts, the pair ended with three consecutive spins through the volcanic hit "Niggas in Paris." It was a move caked in excess, but one that seemed right for a night designed to deliver complete sensory overload.