Always in silhouette. A raving egomaniac completely out of the spotlight. Genius. Let's see the press write that. Where the press at?!?!
I spent a few moments considering this very thing while in the pit for him. I wasn't in the pit for Jay-Z, but I was very close. It occurred to me that these two superstars have career trajectories that have intersected, and perhaps even criss-crossed, but are now heading in drastically opposite directions.
Jay-Z from Blueprint 3 to present (give or take) has been purely about business. MCHG was a cash-in. He owned part of the Nets for a while before becoming a sports agent. Most of his worst verses have been in the last 5 years.
Kanye, on the other hand, has made whatever music he wants to make, in whatever means he chooses. The fact that he is making money hand over fist from it seems only to be a means for him to create and explore more. He zigs when everyone else zags.
In that light, does it really surprise anyone that Jay-Z had an elaborate stage setup and band, dressed in all black and was spotlit, while Kanye was almost entirely backlit, wore his masks for much of the performance, and had a minimalist setup?