Last night, I made it over to catch Jay-Z at American Airlines. Coming off of the Mariah Carey debacle, I had high hopes for a good show. And Jay-Z delivered.

With a 10+ piece band and huge backsplash screens, Jay-Z played it simple but with lots of energy. He works his crowd with enough spirit that he doesn’t need all the flash and tricks to make a good show. And the almost packed house ate it up.

The show really was in the crowd. I’ve never seen that many super-high heels outside of the Rose Room. And the nerdy white kids throwing down hand signals were almost as entertaining as the onstage antics. But Jay-Z clearly appeals to young and old. From kids too young to be there on a school night to white-haired men and women having date night partied it up just fine. The crowd was in such a good mood, that even the people I had to bust through to get to my seat (finally!) didn’t mind me crowding them all that much. OK, maybe the chick next to me was annoyed but overall, Jay-Z filled the room with a high octane performance that infected everyone with a refreshingly feel-good vibe.

Young Jeezy’s show was as entertaining. He performed during Jay-Z’s break and he kept the energy way up in the room, almost at times, outshining the headliner. Trey Songz opened but he was a little on the bland side. And while Jay-Z performed a more than satisfying set list (despite the number of medleys), the house seemed to amp it up for his “Empire State of Mind.” Vocalist Bridget Kelly’s sound was a bit off but it was no matter as the crowd around me waved their arms and sang along with the anthemic chorus.

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