On his new tour, which began in Anaheim on Oct. 27, Jay-Z performs alone on an octagonal stage in the center of the arena, a metaphor for the vulnerability on vivid display on his critically praised album “4:44” and in his choice of concert-opening song, the self-flagellating “Kill Jay Z.” Of the album’s title track, an apology to wife Beyonce for his Lothario lifestyle, Jay-Z told his Anaheim audience, “It’s so real it’s difficult for me to perform.”
Such honesty and humility are admirable, healthy even, but 90 minutes listening to Hova in the confessional is no way to spend an evening. Fortunately, in his opening concert, the 47-year-old rapper-entrepreneur returned frequently to the blueprint of success as he “interspersed the mea culpas with statements of triumph and braggadocio from throughout his two decades as a major pop hitmaker,” a Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote.
His Anaheim set was a tour de force of old-school glory that included “Hard Knock Life,” “Empire State of Mind,” “99 Problems,” “Run This Town,” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “Big Pimpin’,” “Heart of the City,” "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," “N----s in Paris” and “F--kWithMeYouKnowIGotIt.”
Jay-Z’s 31-city tour, which ends Dec. 21 in Los Angeles, also includes a Saturday stop at Orlando’s Amway Center.
When: 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12; rapper Vic Mensa opens
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Cost: Tickets start at $41.
Contact: 800-745-3000, Ticketmaster.com