The Sunrise, Fla. venue, renamed the
Jay-ZCenter for the first night of the rapper's nationwide BP3 Tour, pulsated with every bassline and guitar lick emitted from his 10-piece band, the Roc Boys.
Virginia R&B singer Trey
Songzand his five-piece band opened the show with a 35 minute set of hypersexual slow jams like I Invented Sex and Say Aah.
Then Jay-Z barreled through a mix of hits (99 Problems and I Just Wanna Love U), album cuts (Already Home and U Don't Know) and remixes to other artists' songs (Kanye West's Diamonds From Sierra Leone and Snoop Dogg's I Wanna Rock). He was assisted by long-time protege and sidekick Memphis Bleek for the early half, as well as up-and-coming singer Bridget Kelley. The latter, signed to Jay-Z's new Roc Nation label, provided vocals on the underrated 2001 soul jam, Heart of the City (Ain't No Love), and filled in for Alicia Keys on Empire State of Mind, the ode to New York City that was Jay-Z's first number one single as a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100
But the BP3 Tour wasn't without its flaws: Towards the end of the first half, he began losing his voice, and noticeably stopped to drink water. The three-piece horn section, crucial to songs like Show Me What You Got and D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune), was essentially muted.
As the show continued, Atlanta-based rapper Young Jeezy emerged for Real As It Gets. Jeezy is billed as a special guest of the tour.