Less than a month after DJ AM walked away from a fiery jet crash in Columbia, South Carolina, that killed four people and seriously wounded him and Travis Barker, AM reclaimed his place behind the decks Wednesday night, joining rapper Jay-Z for a special concert celebrating the reopening of the Hollywood Palladium.
Hov and AM (born Adam Goldstein) proved to be a formidable duo, performing for nearly two hours, with the support of tuxedo-clad brass and rhythm sections. Aside from the visible scars and bald patches on his head (AM has undergone two skin-graft surgeries), AM's stage presence had not changed since the accident, as he rapped along with Jay-Z from behind the turntables. The Palladium show was the DJ's first live appearance since the crash.
Jay-Z clearly appreciated AM's presence, calling on the audience to "make some noise for DJ AM" three separate times throughout the concert. Jay also gave a shout-out to Barker and the people who died in the crash, saying, "We're gonna party it up for them tonight."
But not all the shout-outs were so celebratory. Without naming names, Jay dedicated "99 Problems" to John McCain and a certain "homegirl," whom he described as "the one who says 'You betcha.' "
"I'm gonna get in trouble for this," Jay laughed onstage, "but f--- it, this is freedom of speech."
Of course, what Jay-Z show would be complete without a special guest? Earlier in the evening, T.I. — whose Paper Trail is the top-selling album in the country, Jay reminded the crowd — joined Hov onstage for two out of the four verses of "Swagger Like Us."
AM will also be appearing with Jay-Z Thursday night (October 16) in Houston and October 25 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Associated Press reports that AM will resume his residency at Caesars Palace's Pure nightclub in Las Vegas next week.