[CONCERT REVIEW] Jay-Z & Justin Timberlake Got 99 Problems But Fenway Ain’t One (8/11/13)

On their second consecutive night performing at Fenway Park, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake succeeded with their promise of “bringing the party” to Sunday night’s crowd.

Opening with “Holy Grail” from Jay-Z’s new record, Magna Carta…Holy Grail, the “Legends of Summer” woke up the crowd from the get-go.  They subsequently powered through Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body,” Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),” and a short cover of “I Want You Back” by The Jackson Five.

After the first handful of songs, the duo started to gradually give the fans more of each song.  Still, they rattled through a lot of material in the joint set maxing out at over two hours in duration.

One of the most entertaining moments was Timberlake playing the guitar on a couple of Jay-Z’s songs.  Until the camera focused on him, no one knew he was the one doing it. At that point, JT was decked out in Boston gear, including a Red Sox hat and a Boston Strong t-shirt.

While Justin was often on the stage for Jay-Z’s song, the acclaimed rapper did not seem to return the favor.  To be fair, JT’s songs do not always have room for Jay-Z to spit a rhyme, which he nailed throughout the night.

Unlike some artists that often rely on the audience or back-up singers to either sing or rap most of their songs, Jay-Z did not really use any of those utilities.  There were points where he spit faster and better than anyone could expect from him.

While the Boston Strong business seemed a bit overdone by the “Legends of Summer,” it still had an impact on the crowd.  The duo really connected with the packed ballpark, both during and between songs.

One last notable highlight was Jay-Z’s smile peeking from behind his microphone.  That was weird and unexpected, especially since his songs do not always provoke smiles, per se.

Photo Courtesy: Boston Common Magazine

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