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Jay-Z (and DJ Hero) @ Gramercy Theatre in NYC – pics

photos by Brian Ach/WireImage

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“It was 09.09.09, a date burned into the popular consciousness as an almost astrological convergence of music and technology marketing. The date had been set, the branding tie-ins had been tied in, and the product was all set to go on sale to a salivating public.

No, not The Beatles: Rock Band. And not Apple’s latest iTunes tweaks, either. Rather, it was time to promote “The Blueprint 3,” the latest release in the ever-expanding franchise known as Jay-Z.

For the occasion Jay-Z performed a guerrilla show on Wednesday night at the Blender Theater at Gramercy, a 600-capacity club on East 23rd Street in Manhattan, with help from MySpace Music and DJ Hero, a new video game that adapts the Guitar Hero model for hip-hop. It was announced barely 24 hours before, and 250 fans were given free tickets. (The other 350 or so in attendance were assorted V.I.P.’s from the companies involved, and from the news media. They didn’t pay, either.)

Jay-Z’s 74-minute, 25-song set, played with a 10-piece band that included two drummers and a three-part horn section, was a muscular, virtuosic and totally satisfying performance, both in older hits like “Big Pimpin'” and “99 Problems” that are now hip-hop standards, and in material from “The Blueprint 3.” But that was only part of the experience. Before his set the audience was held captive to a demonstration of DJ Hero — its controller resembles a turntable and crossfader, and the player scratches virtual vinyl…” [NY Times]

9/9/9 also marked a performance of Boadrum 9 by the Boredoms and the opening of the new Knitting Factory in Brooklyn (not to mention the date of a Motorhead concert at Roseland Ballroom). There was also a spotting of the mysterious Jeff Mangum on that date (last night) which is a nice addition to the overall mythology (apparently he was in the crowd, but unfortunately not on stage, at the Circulatory System show at Le Poisson Rouge) (he appears on their new album) (more on that later).

More Jay-Z show pictures below

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