Chicago, Ill. -- In order to be considered a "legend,” one must be celebrated, extremely well known, famous and/or renowned. These are not my criteria. That is, in fact, the dictionary definition of the word.
Now that we've concluded our brief, impromptu English lesson for the day, would it be accurate to state that
both fall into the category of “legend?” Having attended the Chicago stop of their
Legends of The Summer
tour Monday evening, I've come to the conclusion that they fit the bill.
A title typically reserved for rock 'n' roll veterans, "legend" perfectly describes the best rapper alive and the most successful new-school, solo male pop star on the planet.
The pair have ventured out on the 12-city, 14-date tour to promote their respective latest album releases (
), but the show itself runs the gamut of both artists' tremendously impressive catalogs. While Justin performed every single hit record in his arsenal, Jay most likely could have kept going for a third and fourth hour.
The twosome opened the show with Jay's "
" and closed their final encore with Justin's "
," but the true highlights of the evening were between these bookend moments. Timberlake played electric guitar and stepped into the role of the racist police officer during Jay's "99 Problems," while Jay piggybacked off Justin's best Frank Sinatra impersonation ("New York, New York") with a rousing,
-less rendition of "
While these highlights were memorable moments for the 60,000 fans in attendance at Soldier Field, they were not precisely the stuff that legends are made of. Both artists, however, would get the chance to prove their worthiness of that mantle before the night was over.
Jay's legendary moment, surprisingly, came during his performance of "Tom Ford," a standout selection off his latest album. Thirty seconds into the track, the
leader told the band to cut the record, seemingly fearful that the audience would not yet known enough of the lyrics to rock with him. To his surprise, however, the capacity crowd was amped and ready to rhyme. At the end of the song, Jay paused, scanned the stands and smiled; to test the limits of your fanbase and see immediate success has to feel extraordinary and godlike.
Though fans will undoubtedly gush over his performances of
" and the newly-released "
," Justin's legendary moment came during his obligatory performance of "Sexy Back." From younger children chaperoned by their parents to parents hip enough to attend
their children, everyone in the packed house was singing (and dancing) along.
By evening's end, what might have been slightly blurry had been made crystal clear. Jay and Justin, regardless of age, genre or standard of judgment, are two famous, well-known, renowned artists who deserve to be celebrated as legends.
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