Who’s excited to see hip-hop icon Jay-Z grace the stage at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE today? Nobody? Don't tell me Hov flaked on his Midwest fans, again…
This time, at least he cancelled the concert before a disaster happened. Jay-Z’s anticipated 4:44 Tour has ground to a screeching halt due to technical difficulties; apparently, the huge display screens that were supposed to hang from the ceiling of the auditorium couldn’t be assembled in time for the show. A similar fiasco caused him to cancel his Fresno, CA concert in early November, but Hov didn’t give a reason for that cancellation. Maybe he decided to speak up now because his short history at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln isn’t very good.
Back in 2013 I ventured from Omaha to Lincoln to see Jay-z in concert. My mother thought it wasn’t worth it; the tickets were overpriced, and the concert venue was an hour drive away. She could see that kind of effort put towards a show by Prince or Michael Jackson, but not Jay-Z.
Her criticism fell on deaf ears. Jay-Z is one of my favorite rappers of all time…a $100 ticket was nothing compared to the experience of seeing The Black Album performed in person. With my sister in tow, we listened to a mix of Hov’s greatest hits all the way to the capital city in anticipation of a great show.
That night I was dressed in all black everything, just like Jay-Z in the video for Run This Town. Once we arrived at the arena I was impressed by the elaborate set before us; humongous speakers hung from the ceilings, while two huge screens hovered above the scene. On stage, translucent crates were stacked in a formation that encompassed a drum set and a DJ booth. The clear crates were emblazoned with white light, but when the music started to play the crates began to pulsate with different colors along with the beat.
Hov and his special-guest Timbaland came out to a spectacular stage-show…after an hour-late start. Though the wait was long, I must admit that Jay-Z came out prepared for an epic set. With Timbaland on the ones-and-twos he performed hit after hit; rocking the arena with songs like NI@@AS IN PARIS and U DON’T KNOW. JIGGA MY NI@@A took full advantage of the gigantic speakers hanging overhead, and I stood on my feet for infectious hits like DIRT OFF MY SHOULDERS and ROC BOYS.
The building was rocking, and the crowd was bouncing so hard that when the smell of burnt fuses filled the air and the lights went out, the entire arena let out a unified sigh of relief at the reprieve!
Those sighs would turn into frustrated huffs after more than thirty minutes of waiting. Apparently, the high-tech set was too much for the Pinnacle Bank Arena’s circuit board. Suddenly, cold-air rushed into the stadium as workers hustled backstage to get the show back up and running. The wait was agonizing, but I was still confident that Hov would make up for this setback.
I was sure that he would give us, his loyal fans what we deserved. At the very least, I was sure that he would extend the concert to pad the nearly two hours we had wasted sitting in the arena. Heck, one of my favorite songs is ENCORE, and I was sure he’d give us an encore performance….
Nope. Despite the setbacks, Jay-Z performed the last song on his set-list and promptly ended the show after maybe ninety minutes of performance time. I imagine that he sped off towards the nearest airport in a souped-up Bentley, smoking a cigar and never thinking twice about the lackluster experience he had just provided.
I haven’t lost all of my love for Hov since that disappointing experience, but I am hesitant to attend one of his concerts. Heck, 4:44 isn't even that great of an album. I may be jaded, but I am now confident that Jay-Z doesn't put forth the effort needed for a great show outside of a major city.
To even think of my levels of anger and disappointment had I been the victim of two disappointing outings by one of my favorite rap artists is scary. I may have jumped back on board with 2Pac and Nas and screamed F*CK JAY-Z!