He was about 40 minutes late for his performance, but a calm Shawn Corey Carter eventually stepped onto a cross-shaped stage and jumped into "What More Can I Say?"
"South By Southwest," he greeted the crowd, "You're welcome!"
Rap's elder statesman stumbled through a few of his lyrics, especially during "Jigga What, Jigga Who" and "Empire State of Mind" (the latter of which he actually started over), and the mixups, when paired with the crowd's surprisingly tepid response to such an intimate performance from one of music's biggest stars made for somewhat disappointing set. Jay-Z is known for being an especially gifted showman, but perhaps sold out shows at Carnegie Hall and playing father to daughter Blue Ivy Carter have made smaller gigs like Monday's show a bit less exciting.
The livestream worked well, allowing viewers to flip between multiple camera angles. In fact, fans at home may have had a better time than those in Austin's Moody Theater, as they were shielded from the energy-lacking crowd. As the Guardian's Music Blog noted, "The concert's first half gave the impression of a man performing for a corporate-sponsored promo event."
According to Billboard, New York Times editor Jill Abramson and her son attended the show, as did Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley.
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