Jay-Z’s been wanting us to know that everything’s going just fine, thank you, on his 4:44 North American tour. After Digital Music News called attention to the tour’s slumping ticket sales and cancellation in Fresno, California earlier this month, Jay-Z’s lawyer attacked them for “false” reporting and linked to a much fluffier Billboard piece. One week later, Jay boasted about breaking the venue’s attendance record in New Orleans, despite performing to curtained-off sections and only 13,000 fans of the venue’s possible 17,791. Now, there’s another episode that makes us question the health of Jay-Z’s tour receipts.
The Omaha World-Herald reports that Jay canceled his date at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska due to technical difficulties. “This tour is too important to me to do it halfway. I have to cancel the show,” he said. “I respect you guys too much to take the money and run. Peace, Hov.” He claims the same problems forced him to cancel the show in Fresno, too.
Technical difficulties and production issues are as reliable an excuse as any to cancel a show. It’s just a bit odd that Jay’s team realized the venue wouldn’t be able to accommodate his tech setup more than a week before the show (while they were in Boston, no less). And if they’d figured it out this early, you’d think there’d be no reason why they wouldn’t have been able to figure this out before the tour was even booked.
Given the slumping ticket sales, we have to wonder if his Lincoln stop was on its way to more curtained-off sections and bargain resale tickets, in addition to any technical issues they might have claimed. At press time, listings are still up on StubHub, starting at $20 for the cheap seats. This isn’t quite as low as the $6 tickets at his Anaheim stop, but less than half the price of the resale market for his upcoming shows in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Now, you wouldn’t necessarily expect Lincoln, Nebraska to pack an arena like one of America’s major cities, but his latest cancellation might further corroborate the idea of a tour that bit off more than it could chew.
We’ve reached out to the Pinnacle Bank Arena and Jay-Z’s team for comment. We’ll update this post if we hear back.