Is Jay-Z Playing a “Secret” Show in New York Tomorrow Night?
Jay-Z headlines All Points West in front of a crowd of thousands on Friday night in Liberty State Park — it’s going to be one of his biggest stateside performances ever. Thursday night, the big summer Diesel party goes down at Webster Hall, with The Roots, Passion Pit, and Drake. And we’re pretty sure Jay-Z (and Lykke Li) gonna stop in. Here’s why.
1. Diesel Show Precedent: Last year’s big Diesel party, featuring M.I.A., was massive, and a massive success. Besides M.I.A., Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip, and Pharell Williams, T.I. dropped in as an unannounced special guest. And somehow, someone at Diesel was able to convince M.I.A. to come out of “retirement” for that one, so clearly, they’ve got good bookers.
2. The Pre-Festival Secret Show Factor: Artists playing big shows often will do surprise appearances for a few hundred right before rocking more than a few thousand. For example, before their big Coachella reunion in 2007, The Jesus and Mary Chain played a secret show at The Glass House the night before. The Pixies did the same thing a few years previous to that in 2004.
3. Jay-Z’s Drop-In Habit: Mr. Carter loves to sneak in. He made a surprise appearance with Eminem at the DJ Hero party last month, where they performed “Renegade” together. Last year, he dropped in at the end of a Kanye West show at Madison Square Garden to premiere “Jockin’ Jay-Z” on a shellshocked crowd.
4. Jay-Z Hearts The Roots: Jay-Z and The Roots made one of the best live hip-hop albums, period — Jay-Z Unplugged — together. The Roots were Jay’s backing band on Fade to Black, when he sold out the Garden. And Jay-Z and Beyonce were seen together taking The Roots in at one of their Highline Ballroom shows recently.
5. Because we heard it was going to happen: Yeah, an unnamed source close to the event says that Hov’s showing up to jam on a few songs at the end of The Roots’ set. An email to the PR firm repping the event got a very, very quick turnaround (i.e. our phone blew up about five seconds later). The PR person hadn’t heard anything, but was told that they hadn’t heard anything “so far,” though they were getting information as it came along. We’re already dead-sure Lykke Li’s going to be one of the guests — a press release sampling: “Please note that we are announcing the first of our special guest performers. Solange Knowles will perform with Theophilus London. Stay tuned for more announcements this week. For instance, who will be the special collaborator with THE ROOTS, hmmmm you will know in “A Little Bit.” Yeah, not too hard to figure out. The PR person has yet to get back to us with an answer. So we’re running this as such: someone told us it was going to happen, the PR person gave us a lightening fast turnaround on email, but hasn’t given us an out-and-out-denial. Sure, they could be trying to drum up press for the event. Or they could be trying to avoid total pandemonium, which, for a bill with Passion Pit, The Roots, Lykke Li, Drake, and Jay-Z? It’d probably be the case.