Jay-Z’s free and elusive concert at the House of Blues was the hardest ticket to get in the Windy City on Tuesday night.  His free show hosted by Samsung as part of their Summer Krush concert series was the talk of the town over the last week, competing with Oprah’s take over of Chicago, and our bid to host the 2016 Olympics.  Jay-Z visited Chicago just a few months back, where he appeared at Northerly Island in July.  This show, however, had a bigger buzz and more mystique as it came on the heels of the release of the Blueprint 3 and took place at the intimate House of Blues. Free tickets in hand, I hit the show with partner in crime at RubyHornet, Virgil Solis.  We got to the venue close to an hour before the doors opened and there was already a strong line stretching around the House of Blues entrance and onto Dearborn avenue.  Just a short time after we took our place, the line grew to over the bridge and a couple hundred deep, needless to say, not everyone got inside.  

Those that made it inside were welcomed by Hov and his full band, who took the stage with “Run This Town” and “DOA” before Jay-Z dipped into his back catalog and ran through “99 Problems”, “U Don’t Know”, “I Just Wanna Love You”, “Jigga My N***a”, “Heart of The City” and many others during his hour long set that also included a Chicago freestyle complete with a shot at R. Kelly. What was most interesting was that despite all the talk of BP3 not being up to snuff, the crowd new all the words to the new jams, and many times during the set, Jay let them do the vocals as he orchestrated as if conducting a symphony. It was also, as he says in “Change Clothes”, just him.  There were no surprise guests, as rumors also swirled that he would be joined by Kanye West and other members of the Roc.  Memphis Bleek did take the stage with Jay, but was not present the full-time, as Jay seemed to say, ‘it’s just me tonight’ and it’s hard to be disappointed or focus on who is absent when a legend is on stage…I was not in work mode, and didn’t even try to get any video from my spot behind the soundboard, as I knew countless people were taking video.  Below are few clips going around the Internet.  Hit the jump to see Jay perform the Chicago freestyle, the first three songs of the set, as well as “Haters” via The Amjanese Blog/FSD.