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APW Day 1: No sleep till Brooklyn

APW Day 1: No sleep till Brooklyn

The first day of this year’s three-day All Points West Music & Arts Festival in Jersey City, was more or less cursed. Only two weeks before the festival, and Day One’s headliner (The Beastie Boys) was forced to cancel due to a medical emergency. Then, once the day came, horrible thunderstorms managed to keep audiences huddled under tents for the better part of 90 minutes. One man came to the rescue for both of these unforeseeable events: Jay-Z. The New York rapper headlined the first day of All Points West with a triumphant almost-hometown show, impressing the rain-soaked and mud-covered attendees. He opened with a tribute to the Beastie Boys, by performing their early hit “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” From there, Jay-Z ran through new songs and old songs. He’s that rare hip-hop MC with enough of a diverse catalog, that he can deliver hit after hit after hit, from albums spanning over 10 years. Making his U.S. festival debut at All Points West, Jay-Z’s headlining appearance was a good capper to a day of mixed emotions. Here are some pics I took:

(The rain began soft around 4 p.m., but soon poured and poured. Winds picked up, and attendees fought for space under scattered tents. Ironically, I sought refuge in the misting tent. Needless to say, the misters were turned to the “off” position.)

(The National performed while the rain began to drop hard, and the moody rockers stepped up the energy in their set. The performance was one of the best of the day, probably aided by the band’s thunderous reaction to the weather.)

(Hip-hop legends Pharcyde, brought some golden nuggets from their acclaimed history, like “Ya Mama.”)

(Karen O and Yeah Yeah Yeahs welcomed the return of the clear skies with a dance-heavy set of rock that pulled from their new album, It’s Blitz.)

(Giant inflatable eyeballs bounced along the crowd during the Yeah Yeah Yeahs set.)

(Jay-Z on Friday.)

(Fans cheered, and held up their “Roc,” as Jay-Z closed out the first day of All Points West 2009.)

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