On Thursday night (November 12), Jay-Z unleashed his Blueprint tour on the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. With the help of Wale and N.E.R.D., Jigga invaded Assembly Hall (home of the University of Illinois basketball team) and tore through hits both new ("Run This Town," "Empire State of Mind") and old ("99 Problems," "Big Pimpin'").
"Rising from below the stage, Jay-Z performed 'Run This Town' to open the show," wrote April Dahlquist in the Daily Illini. "In black pants, an Abraham Lincoln graphic tee, ice, a Yankees hat and 'sunnies,' 39-year-old Jay-Z was dressed to impress.
"And the Jay-Z song was on," she continued. "Whether the fans knew every word to the rap song, or just nodded their heads to the beat, from the constant screams and camera flashes, it was apparent the audience was enjoying themselves."
Jigga's comprehensive crawl across some of the country's biggest college campuses tonight at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The acclaimed Blueprint tour has brought out the road warrior in Jay-Z, who will keep arena-hopping until Thanksgiving. He'll then head back out on the road in February of next year for another 14 dates, culminating in what will likely be a triumphant tour closer at Los Angeles' Staples Center.