For my drive to Nashville on July 18th, I thought continuously about what I’d be witnessing within the next few hours. The legendary duo of Nas and Mary J Blige were stopping in Nashville for their 2019 summer tour as they continue to set the bar higher and higher. With this in mind, I couldn’t help but particularly focus on taking in my surroundings as I witnessed such a possibly historical event. I eventually came to two solid conclusions: I had to be the youngest attendee without a doubt, and I was extremely underdressed compared to most. People in button-ups, suits, and dresses were everywhere, but it matched what was being called the “Royalty” Tour. It also wasn’t hard to notice Nas had a humble, masculine following, while Mary J carried a confident feminine crowd all into the same venue, combining to create one united group overall.
I was shocked as soon as I entered Bridgestone Arena after seeing the stage and crowd was only limited to half of the arena since Nas and Mary J Blige are both legendary artists, but I could seriously appreciate the set-up because of how intimate their performances would be. The duo was eventually lifted onto the stage by a platform, both standing back to back, eventually making eye contact with each other, then kicking off their performance. Nas and Mary J started with their two shared singles “Thriving” and “Reach Out,” warming up the crowd and transitioning into full solo performances. Nas did have the crowd’s crowd’s interest, but after Blige walked out (in a completely different outfit from their shared performance if I might add) the crowd didn't hold back whatsoever. From Mary’s choreography to the spoken wisdom from Nas, their rather different co-headlining show was without absolutely a success.