Jay-Z/Kanye Tour Is ‘Theatrical,’ DJ Green Lantern Says

Producer/DJ recounts his Watch the Throne concert experience, in his own words.

DJ Green Lantern knows a thing or two about high-profile hip-hop tours. With a long production and DJing résumé that includes hitting the road with Eminem and Jay-Z, the Rochester, New York, disc jock took a trip down to Atlanta to see the second show of Hov and Kanye West’s Watch the Tour Tour .

Friday night’s opening show was a hit, and according to the Evil Genius, who was seated with his son in the second row, Saturday’s second show didn’t disappoint either. After the concert, Green Lantern checked in with MTV News to give his review. You are now watching the Throne:

Man, it was a real experience. They pulled out all the stops. They got a real crazy production, where it’s these big cubes: One is in the middle of the arena, and the other one is right in front of the stage, and they both will be elevated into the air. The cubes have LEDs on ‘em, so they’re constantly changing colors and video. [Jay and Kanye] are standing on each [cube], and they rise and descend. At certain points in the show, Jay will be in the middle of the arena performing his verse to a song, and Kanye would be on the stage. It’s very ill in that respect.

A lot of back-and-forth with their music in the sense of: a Kanye record, then a Jay record. Then they do a set together. They perform most of the album, most of Watch the Throne. It’s a long show. It doesn’t really seem long, but it’s definitely two-plus hours. It’s every hit imaginable between those guys, which is a lot. And a lot of stuff off the new album.

The video that goes to the songs, there are certain parts in the show that Jay and Kanye are really just watching the video. So you should watch the video too, because it has something to do with the song that’s playing. It’s dope.

From the video to the design, it’s a lot of Kanye influence. You can see his taste in the set design and in the show, using his band, etc. … Definitely a lot of Kanye. He gets deep with the artistic side, stuff that I can see, “OK, that’s a Kanye thing.”

The energy was crazy. They did “N-words in Paris” three times in a row. Three times in a row. Three times! Back-to-back-to-back. There’s a piece at the end when they’re going back and forth, song for song, and it’s got, like, a girl theme to it. I don’t want this to be a spoiler, so I’ll just say the show is definitely a theatrical presentation.

You know how you saw them at the MTV [Video Music] Awards and they did “Otis” ? It looked like they were having such a good time together and just hanging out, how they were just laughing and going on? That’s definitely how the whole show was. But this was still literally the second show, so they’re still getting the kinks out of it. But the chemistry is definitely 100 percent.

You just get so used to everybody bringing out guests [at their concerts], but when you sit through this show, you don’t even feel that anybody was supposed to come out. They definitely didn’t need anyone coming out. Being in Atlanta, a lot of people thought Tip might’ve came out for the “Paris (Remix),” but that wasn’t the case. The whole arena was rocking, three times in a row. I saw [record exec] Steve Stoute say somewhere that the whole stadium turned into a club on that song, It definitely did.

I think it’s definitely befitting of the two guys out on the tour, as far as the production level of what they’re used to doing. Like Kanye, if you see his solo show, it’s retarded. The last one he was doing, with the whole white theme onstage. And then Jay’s last tour — they’ve been upping the ante production-wise, video-wise, LEDs, and this is right there with it. It’s on par with it, and they actually upped the ante with the big cubes and how they’re using them. It’s just ill. It’s like those are the thrones, just rising, and they’re rapping and it’s like, “We are now watching the thrones.”

I had my iPhone out, and I was recording during “H.A.M.,” and I was going from the middle of the arena back to the stage. I was literally two rows from the stage, so the cube was right in my face. At that point, Kanye was on the stage, so you couldn’t even see Kanye, because he’s at the top of the cube, but I’m still going back and forth with the camera like, “Man, this is crazy!”

It’s dope that they did that; it definitely adds showmanship, creativity, the whole theatrical element to it, and hip-hop needs that. Especially when we’re going into an age where the show is paying the bills. The music is free, by and large, and hip-hop shows could really step up the production. If you look at this as an example, this could really motivate you and give you some inspiration if you’re a hip-hop artist to say, “You know what? I’m gonna invest some money into a bigger stage show, a better stage show, and really give this show to the world and get booked more because of that.”

I had a great time. I brought my [16-year old] son out with me. He said he just lost 10 pounds, sweating and jumping up and down. He had the time of his life. I brought him backstage, he met the guys, and it was a great night. Thumbs up on Watch the Throne live.

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