By Clive Young.
New York (June 22, 2010)—People ask where we get our stories from. Sometimes they just come to us—like yesterday, when Jay-Z and Eminem performed a rooftop show across the street from Pro Sound News.
The pair of preeminent rappers taped an episode of Late Night with David Letterman on Monday, June 21, across the way from the offices of your favorite audio magazine. While their actual performance took place near dusk, it was preceded by an afternoon of extensive rehearsals atop the Ed Sullivan Theater—a time during which most NewBay Media, LLC. employees could be found pressed against our office windows like kids outside a candy shop.
Since this is a pro audio magazine/site, however, we should note the pro audio aspects. Jay-Z just finished a U.S. tour this past spring, with gear provided by Eighth Day Sound, and numerous Eminem tours have also been handled by the Highland Heights, OH-based audio company. That said, Eighth Day has confirmed that it did not supply equipment for the rooftop gig.
Nonetheless, Jay-Z’s recent tour carried a DiGiCo SD7 for monitors at stageside, and a glimpse of grainy photo taken from the window next to our IT office reveals that indeed an SD7 was off to stage right, though whether the tour’s monitor man, Kenny Nash, is the pictured engineer is unknown.
Eminem and Jay-Z taped the appearance on Late Night—which will air Friday, June 25 on CBS--to promote both the former’s new album out this week, Recovery, and the pair’s pair of double-bill concerts to be played in September at Tiger Stadium in Detroit and Yankee Stadium in The Bronx. Splitting hairs, Jay-Z was the main guest of the show and Em was the musical guest.
The concert was originally planned to take place on the street-level marquee of Late Night, with the pair performing much as Paul McCartney did there last summer. However, after a free Drake/Hanson double-bill held at New York City’s South Street Seaport the week before ended in riots, mayor Mike Bloomberg canned the marquee concept.
Undeterred, the gig was moved to the rooftop before a small audience that included P. Diddy, who walked from his office a block away, wine glass in hand. While police were at the Ed Sullivan Theater’s stage door to keep fans at bay, oddly, Diddy was not picked up for possessing an open alcohol container in public—go figure.
When the program was finally taped, the rappers received an expansive three songs—unusual in the realm of late night talk shows. Eminem tore through “Not Afraid,” the first single from Recovery, after which Jay-Z took the mic, jumping into “On To The Next One,” from The Blueprint 3. Finally, the duo dove into their classic duet, “Renegade,” from The Blueprint.
For more photos, visit our Twitter feed at @prosoundnews.