Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Ne-Yo brought major star power to Power 105’s Powerhouse concert last night (Oct. 29) at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., but it was a surprise appearance by Beyonce that stole the show.
The singer entered the stage during Jay-Z’s set and performed the choreography from her new single, “Single Ladies,” flanked by two background dancers. Though she didn’t say or sing a word, Beyonce, clad in black stretch pants and a black turtleneck, drove the crowd wild when she flashed her extraordinarily large wedding ring at the end of her performance.
Ne-Yo’s set featured hits like “So Sick” and “Miss Independent,” plus guest turns from rappers Plies and Fabolous, who performed their verses on “Bust It Baby Pt. 2” and “Make Me Better,” respectively.
Lil Wayne began his set fully clothed in a vest, flannel shirt and jeans but ended up topless. Many fans thought that Jay-Z would join Wayne for their duet “Mr. Carter,” but he rapped alone on the track. Backed by a DJ and a full band including a female bassist, Wayne pulled out his own green and white Fender guitar and sang “Comfortable” in a highly off-key pitch. Still, fans sang along as he ran through “Ms. Officer,” which featured Bobby Valentino, “I’m Me,” “Please Don’t Shoot Me Down,” and “My Life.”
Rapper and fellow Cash Money executive Baby appeared to duet with Lil Wayne on “Pop Bottles” just before the younger MC went into a spastic rendition of “A Milli.” Hopping up and down during most of the song as he rhymed, Wayne was eventually calmed down by an assistant who cloaked him in a robe, James Brown-style. For a touch of comedy, he closed the set by lip-synching Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Jay-Z was the evening’s last performer and touted the most elaborate stage setup and a full band dressed in suits. A large TV screen hung from the ceiling above the stage while another three-part screen spread across the stage itself and behind Jay-Z as he ran through classics like “Hello” and “U Don’t Know.” The screen continually showed a montage of 1930s gangsters, continuing the theme of from last album, “American Gangster,” as well as clips from Jay-Z’s many videos.
After “Roc Boys” and “Lucifer,” Jay-Z said he was only going to play “the sh*t that I like now.” Tracks like “Can I Live,” “Blue Magic” and “Swagger Like Us” followed, and Jay-Z reminded the crowd to vote on Nov. 4.
“This is the most important election ever,” he said. “Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Obama could run and Obama is running so we all could fly.”