The Throne is a state of mind. And on Wednesday night at an eagerly anticipated showcase at the Austin Music Hall to help kick off the music portion of SXSW, Jay Z and Kanye West got back in the zone after taking some time away from their hit collabo project.
In a hit-packed two-hour, 35-song set that had Tyler, the Creator spazzing out and crowdsurfing his way to the front row, the hip-hop superstars played a clutch of songs from their Watch The Throne album and solo sets that took attendees through their solo catalogs as well.
According to reports, the duo started out standing on two large metal boxes on opposite sides of the intimate venue. Videos were projected onto the boxes, with snarling Rottweilers beamed out for the set-opening "H*A*M" and sharks swimming under them for "Who Gon' Stop Me."
They ducked down into the boxes and reappeared on the main stage to run through a hyped "Otis" in front of a giant American flag projection. The pacing and staging were similar to the pair's vaunted 2011-2012 Throne tour, down to the live band and set list, which was shaken up to include a few of each man's recent solo tracks.
Jay hit "Beach is Better," "Tom Ford" and his guest verse on Bey's "Drunk in Love," before 'Ye took his place to run through "Black Skinhead," "New Slaves," "Jesus Walks" and "Diamonds From Sierra Leone." There were, of course, stops at other indelible hits like "Empire State of Mind," "Izzo (HOVA)," "Runaway," "Heartless" and "All of the Lights" before they closed things out with "No Church in the Wild" and only three runs through "N----s In Paris."