[Mumford & Sons]
Following Mumford and Sons was the legendary singer-songwriter, John Prine. Prine performed several of his classics including Crooked Piece of Time, Grandpa Was A Carpenter and Souvenirs. At the end of his set, world renowned Kris Kristofferson – who had watched the entire performance side stage – and members of Old Crow took the stage to join Mr. Prine for Lake Marie and Paradise. Meanwhile, Weezer put on a show that included classics like Undone (The Sweater Song), Say It Ain’t So, and My Name Is Jonas. The band also performed several newer songs, including Beverly Hills, Pork and Beans, and popular covers in the form of MGMT’s Kids and Lady Gaga’s Poker Face.
Up next was the back to back headliners of Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z. Overall Stevie Wonder was an absolute delight and his backing band was top notch. He seemed to roll non-stop through each song with only occasional brief pauses for a small political rant or two. I loved the interaction he had with the crowd, a call and response if you will, to get the audience to participate in singing verses. During My Cherie Amour he joked saying “Don’t mess up my words.” All I could do at that point was smile and sing along myself. Other highlights from Mr. Wonder’s set included Superstition, Sir Duke, Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker) > Heard it Through the Grapevine, For Once in My Life, and Livin’ For the City. Overall, an amazing set from an amazing musician.
There was an extended break between Stevie and Jay-Z and I was curious if there would be any glitches in the stage setup like that of Kanye West only three short years ago. In an act of irony, ten minutes prior to the start of the show a countdown clock appeared on the stage video displays. The stage was setup with huge LED lights that resembled the New York City skyline and it looked beautiful.
The performance was non-stop from the beginning, kicking off with On To The Next One. He gave props to Jack White and Stevie Wonder, who were both side stage, stating that he “couldn’t wait to tell my mom that Stevie Wonder stayed for my set.” Each legends in their own right, it was nice to see Jay-Z show respect to his elder. He moved almost as quickly through his songs as he did roaming the stage. Hova’s set was chocked full of his hits including Takeover, 99 Problems, Can I Get A…, Heart of the City (which included a sample of U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, not the original sample), Empire State of Mind, Hard Knock Life and the appropriate show-closer Young Forever.
Overall a great day of music concluded by a rapper who wasn’t late and didn’t bitch about it the next day from his MacBook Pro — I’d consider that a success.