I'm not quite sure why Rihanna and Jay-z turned up at the closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympic Games- I had thought it was about showcasing the "Best Of Britain". I, however, can take an educated guess: Coldplay frontman's wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) is best friends with Jay Z's wife (Beyonce) and Jay Z's biggest signing/money making artist, is Rihanna. But who knows.
But hey-ho, the crowd seemed to enjoy it- irrelevantly entertaining as it was- and it managed to give them a break from the 15 strong set from Coldplay.
Swinging from a suspended park bench- which I was getting pangs of Vertigo just watching- Rihanna started her set with a performance of We Found Love. It was a little wobbly, but it was in tune for most of the song. A feat that I have to give credit for considering her perilous placing above the stadium.
Rihanna also joined Coldplay for their duet, Princess Of China. This was a vocal that was surprisingly good. Atop of a giant boat- was this the same boat Annie Lennox rode at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony?- the star gave a strong and confident vocal, that featured notes from all parts of her range. Particularly impressive- for Rihanna- was her headvoice; which she used here with more skill than I've seen previously from her.
Now it came the time for Jay Z to join Coldplay and Rihanna on stage, where they sang/rapped arrogant, swaggering, Run This Town. What a crappy song choice. With lyrics like "This is Roc Nation, pledge your allegiance" and "On the table screamin' [blank] the other side, they jealous We got a banquet full of broads, they got a table full of fellas", how was this a fitting song choice to represent the achievements of an audience of Paralympians.
He might as well have performed his love song to New York, Empire State of Mind: it would have been just as out of place, have made just as much sense and been just as self-serving as this was.