Battling a hoarse voice, rapper Jay-Z, along with his supporting act Trey Songz, kicked off the North American leg of his Blueprint 3 tour at the Bank Atlantic Center Saturday night (Feb 20) in Miami, FL. Another big name on the bill was Young Jeezy (not pictured), who took to the stage in the middle of Jay-Z’s set for a nearly half-hour set of his own.
Backed by a 10-piece band, including live horns to accentuate tracks like “Roc Boys,” Jay sported an all-black outfit, topped with a black baseball cap, and began the show with his hit “Run This Town.” As images of the New York City skyline flashed behind the stage on an expansive screen, the rapper tore through his recent (and first) #1 hit, “Empire State of Mind,” with singer Bridget Kelley filling in for Alicia Keys’ vibrant alto.
Unfortunately, a bit further into his set, Jay-Z lost his voice and was obviously straining to spit his lyrics. Then the horn section was muted during the poignant tracks like “D.O.A” and “Show Me What You Got.” Jeezy took his special-guest spot in the middle of Jay’s set and performed for almost 30 minutes, giving Jay-Z a chance to rest his voice. The Brooklyn native re-emerged for the pair’s Obama-honoring collabo “My President.”
Ending the show with a rendition of “Encore,” Jay-Z told the audience, “I’m not jaded, I appreciate every one of you being here.” Jay-Z’s tour continues through the end of next month, and wraps with a performance at the Coachella festival in April. He’ll also perform at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee in June.
Sounds like a great show! Continue reading for 20+ pictures of Jay-Z and Trey performing in Miami…
PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES / FILM MAGIC