Jay-Z has announced a 31 city tour in support of 4:44, the new album that the rapper and entertainment mogul released this month in advance of the July 4 weekend exclusively on his Tidal streaming service and to Sprint customers.
The arena tour kicks off Oct. . 7 in Anaheim, California and wraps up two months later in Los Angeles on Dec. 21. But there’s one major metropolis missing from the re-hyphenated hip-hop heavyweight’s itinerary, however: Philadelphia.
The reason for that is clear: Beyonce’s husband will in fact play his first 4:44 date on U.S. soil right here on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Labor Day weekend, eight weeks before his proper tour begins. A detailed schedule for the Budweiser Made In America festival hasn’t yet been announced but it’s presumed he’ll be topping the bill of the fest on the high profile Saturday night slot on Sept. 2.
The MIA gig is one of several fests that Hova is headlining in advance of his proper 4:44 tour, starting with two V Festival shows in England in August and including the Meadows Music and Arts Festival at Citi Field in Queens on Sept. 15 and the Austin City Limits fest on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13.
But of course, what Philadelphia gets beats what those other burgs have in store. Jay-Z’s Philly fans win because Made In America is his very own festival, in which he picks the bands and also plays, to a crowd that’s likely to be closer to 50,000 rather than that 20K or so that will see him on most of his indoor dates. And perhaps since he’s in performance mode, he’ll also hop on stage and play with other acts like presumed Sunday headliner J Cole, who is a signee to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation management company.
And finally, none of this means that there won’t eventually be a Jay-Z solo headlining date added to his itinerary. (UPDATE: In fact, a reader reports that when the itinerary was first posted on Monday, it did include a Philadelphia date on December 1 that has since been removed.) That makes sense since it’s standard practice in the concert business to not put an additional show on sale in a market where you’re already selling tickets to a show that is not yet sold out. So it could behoove the businessman born Shawn Carter to add a Wells Fargo Center date either after MIA has came and went, or perhaps before if tickets for the fest continue to sell as briskly as they said to be.