Jack White, Nicki Minaj, Kasabian also play the free event
Jay-Z headlined the first night of BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend last night (June 23) with a celebratory set featuring guest appearances from Rihanna, MIA and Watch The Throne collaborator Kanye West.
Entering together through a white light in the centre of the stage, the rapper and Rihanna – dressed in a black crop top and sunglasses – kicked off the set with ‘Run This Town’ (scroll down and click to view a video of them performing the track) to huge screams and an entire fan-led singalong of the chorus. Rihanna will headline the second night of the Hackney event today (June 24).
Surrounded by silhouetted musicians, Jay-Z then stormed through a career-spanning set selection including ‘Jigga What, Jigga Who’, ’99 Problems’ and ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’, with the heaving crowd (which, at ticket capacity, reached up to 100,000 people) dancing throughout.
MIA also made an appearance for ‘Paper Planes’ and recent single ‘Bad Girls’, although some issues with her mic left the singer unable to be heard during a large part of the former track.
Example, who performed earlier that day, tweeted:
After an epic finish of ‘Empire State of Mind’, Jay-Z left the stage as an American flag backdrop descended and the strains of Otis Redding’s ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ piped through. As the lights finally came back up, both Jay and Kanye West were revealed, with Kanye standing arms aloft in a typically messianic pose.
The pair, who had finished the final date of their Watch The Throne tour in Manchester the night before, then tore through five cuts from their collaborative album to deafening screams, finishing with an extended version of ‘Niggas In Paris’ in which the pair instructed the crowd to make a host of circle pits. Scroll down and click to view a video of the duo’s performance.
Meanwhile, on the In New Music We Trust stage, Jack White stormed through a short but rapturously-received headline set, featuring cuts from throughout his career and a selection of tracks from recent solo album ‘Blunderbuss’. Playing with his all-male band, a trilby hatted White opened with a country-tinged version of White Stripes hit ‘Black Math’, before launching into solo efforts ‘Missing Pieces’ and ‘Freedom At 21’.
‘Hotel Yorba’ tipped the crowd into a moshing frenzy, but it was the final trio of tracks – the Dead Weather’s ‘I Cut Like A Buffalo’, The Raconteurs’ ‘Steady As She Goes’ and a pounding, anthemic ‘Seven Nation Army’ (scroll down to the bottom and click to view White performing the track) – that brought about the biggest reaction.
Earlier in the day Nicki Minaj played her first ever UK show to largely underwhelming effect. Taking to the main stage in an early evening slot, the provocative rapper drew a large crowd but failed to excite or draw much enthusiasm.
Entering in a monk’s robe, with stained glass window stage backing, the blonde singer moved through a host of tracks from ‘Roman Reloaded’ but was noticeably reliant on backing tracks, with her live vocal quieter than the recorded backing vocals. ‘Starships’ and ‘Super Bass’ finally elicited a strong response, but the rest of the set (featuring a host of topless, silver-trousered dancers) generally disappointed.
Elsewhere, Kasabian stormed the main stage with a mosh pit-inducing, second headline set. Taking in a hit-packed, crowd-pleasing setlist including the likes of ‘LSF’, ‘Underdog’, ‘Vlad the Impaler’ and established set-closer ‘Fire’, the quintet provided one of the biggest successes of the event.
The Vaccines followed their tiny secret London gig the previous night with a hugely-attended mid-afternoon slot, mixing up debut-album favourites with a few offerings from forthcoming follow-up ‘The Vaccines Come of Age’. The Maccabees played a short but brilliant half-hour stint, opening with ‘No Kind Words’ and ending on ‘Pelican’.