He Came, He Saw, He Conquered…

June 30, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Music | 3 Comments

The Plan: Rick O’Shea had invited some lucky bloggers to join him for Jay-Z’s concert at the RDS and drinks before and after the gig. I especially wanted to go after buying three tickets to Jay’s previous gig in 2006 but unable to go. Had it not been for bad weather, I was going to look stuntastic in my retro Adidas gear like so.

The Journey: It was literally raining cats and dogs all the way from the moment I left the house in Galway at 11.30am until the moment I went into the pub across the RDS in Dublin to meet the gang at 6.30pm. I was shitting myself at the thought of meeting people whose work I’ve read (or listened to) so much so that I developed a headache from worry. That, plus the lack of food from 6am contributed somewhat. Meeting them was very surreal. If I’m talking to someone one on one, I’m hillaryarse. In a group of at least… two people, I become very shy.

The Bloggers: Rick O’Shea (a true gentleman and was incredibly encouraging of my work), Rapture Ponies (not her real name or hair colour, shockingly enough), Darren (easiest person ever to talk to) and Andrew (he has an impressive beard). Latecomers to the party were Rick’s friend Bngr (who made me dance for alcohol which is very admirable trait in a person) and Annie Rhannion who everyone absolutely adored.

The Concert: We were slightly late on purpose as 2.0 good songs is not worth 1.5 hours of Estelle especially when the other option is football. We missed Jay-Z’s intro to The Takeover but as soon as we got in he was performing 99 Problems crossed with AC/DC’s Back In Black which was awesome. The first three songs featured Memphis Bleek who was there because he’s got anything better to do. Jay flew through repitoire making sure that everyone heard their favorites including:

  • “Show Me What You Got” had an incredible drum solo by his band’s drummer, Tony Royster Jr (famous since he was 12).
  • Hard Knock Life (it’s impossible to sing but that didn’t stop anyone trying)
  • Izzo (H.O.V.A.) mashed with Jackson 5’s I Want You Back
  • Is That Your Chick mixed with some Prodigy in there just because Jay-Z can
  • Jigga also gave his own rendition of American Boy, Rehab and Umbrella
  • Rapped Minority Report acappella with an image of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath and George Bush. He let the audience voice their opinion before asking to change the picture to something better: cue Presidential candidate Barack Obama.

My only gripe would be that the encore came out of nowhere. Jay-Z finished Izzo, dissappeared quickly and before you know it Bono is conducting the audience in a chant to bring him back on stage when nobody knew he had left in the first place. As an encore he mixed Heart Of The City with U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday with the Irish tricolour in the background and then finishing with Encore, naturally enough.

My headache progressed to whole new level of pain when the concert had finished now that there was alcohol involved and I also had to shout to hear myself. The rest of the night went by very fast. The topics of conversations covered so much: A throwaway comment I made on asking if it’s alright to have a man crush on Torres led to Andrew and Rick judging Fabregas and Torres in terms of football skills and general prettiness. Also, we established that Atlantic 252 has reached mythical status and Rick’s real name is Dusty Rhodes but that was already taken, unfortunately. At least, I think that’s what happened… All I do know is that I’ve never felt so comfortable talking to strangers before and I’m really looking forward to the next event.

For an idea of how great the Jay-Z concert was check out his performance at Glastonbury here except imagine it being better. He had a less random setlist at the RDS and he seemed to connect to the crowd more. For a great interview of his with Jonathon Ross, Rick has it here. Some photos of the RDS concert are after the break:



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  1. Best review of the lot i reckon, but now tragically factually inaccurate due to me ditching the beard the other day. Fortunately, i am so virile and hirsute that i can re-grow it at will whenever the need arises. And there are many many reasons to need a beard.

  2. Great review of the gig…and, indeed, the whole night. It was a lot of fun and hopefully we can drag you back this end of the country again some time soon.

    Also…no riots…which was nice!


  3. Vote for Pedro…

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