Jay Z rocking the mic and the crowd at Austin City Limits on Monday night (Photo: Brandon Fuller)
Jay-Z's concert at Austin City Limits on Monday night was one of the most hotly anticipated events of the entire South by Southwest conference, and even with literally hundreds of other events going on, the scene backstage and elsewhere at the show left little doubt that it was The Place To Be in Austin.
The audience for the show - officially titled the Amex Sync Show Presenting Jay-Z, for which we hear the company spent well into seven figures -- was largely made up of American Express users who won tickets to see Hova in an intimate (2,700-capacity) venue, but there were also tech, media and of course music-biz celebs in the house.
New York Times editor Jill Abramson was there with her son, Cantora Records co-founder Will Griggs; Foursquare's Dennis Crowley and Tristan Walker and members of the team from hotly tipped photo-editing startup Aviary mingled at pre-show reception before rocking out. Also in the house were Roc Nation's John Meneilly and Dorothy Hui, PepsiCo's Richie Cruz, Universal's Jon Vanhala, Facebook's Ime Archibong (who knew just about every rhyme, and not only the hits), Madison Square Garden Entertainment's Shannon Fitzgerald and Katie Forte, Fuse's Liana Huth and Joe Marchese, Virgin Management's Christine Choi, Twitter's Ryan Sarver, Momentum's Joe Killian, Bowery Presents' Jason Ross.
Amid the usual SXSW chatter, people were talking about the controversial homeless hotspots and who could possibly be a guest at the show. While Jay's appearance at SXSW last year came during Kanye West's guest-fest, there were no surprise performers here -- although Jay did shout out Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park from the stage.
From left: Facebook's Ime Archibong with Universal's
Jon Vanhala (Photo: Bill Werde)
Watching the Throne: Jay Z, being photographed by hundreds at Austin City Limits. (Photo: Brandon Fuller)
Will Griggs, co-founder of Cantora Records, poses with Alisa Simon-Gould, founder of the fashion app Pose, at the Jay-Z reception. (Photo Courtney Harding)
Aviary's Alex Taub (left) and Michael Gilpert (Photo: Courtney Harding)
Jay-Z onstage (Photo: Brandon Fuller)