Gibbs, Whitehead lead Seton Hall past Xavier 90-82

Updated JAN 31, 2015 3:30p ET
     

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Sterling Gibbs scored 22 points, Isaiah Whitehead had 19 and Seton Hall used a late 9-0 run on Saturday to defeat Xavier 90-82.

Gibbs started the winning run with a layup that tied the game at 75 with 4:12 left. He added two free throws after a turnover and Whitehead contributed four free throws, making it 82-75 with 2:38 left.

Gibbs, who also had eight assists, made four free throws in the last minute to finish 8-8 from the line for the Pirates (15-6, 5-4 Big East). Desi Rodriguez added 16 points.

The Pirates had had lost three straight and four of five, starting with a loss at Xavier when they were ranked 19th. Whitehead, a freshman who had started the first 11 games, had missed the last nine with a stress fracture in his foot.

Trevon Bluiett had 19 points and Jalen Reynolds 17 for the Musketeers (14-8, 5-5), who were coming off a win over No. 21 Georgetown.


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For Adeiny Hechavarria, hitting taking precedence in offseason drills

Updated JAN 30, 2015 8:31p ET
     

WESTON, Fla. – The 10 a.m. class bell sounds at Tequesta Trace Middle School as 10 Major League Baseball players and prospects stretch yards away in an adjacent park.

Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria should be along the third-base line with Chicago Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler and veteran right-hander Jose Veras, but he is running late for the morning workout.

Hechavarria arrives 20 minutes later wearing the retro Miami Sun Sox cap the team donned at Wrigley Field this past June, orange and black Marlins shorts and a black dri-fit Marlins T.

The 2014 Gold Glove finalist has a valid excuse: He was finishing up an English lesson he has three times a week over the offseason.

Although the other ballplayers speak Spanish — and do so in the cages in between turns hitting — Hechavarria’s agent, Bart Hernandez, recommended he learn the language.

"It’s good for my teammates — for talking to the guys, for everybody, for everything," Hechavarria said. "In Cuba, I didn’t speak English ever, but here everything."

When the 2014 season ended in late September, Hechavarria took a three-week break, which included a trip to St. Lucia. Once he began exercising again, he threw and worked out — just nothing too strenuous — three times a week. With he and the other Miami position players set to report to Jupiter, Florida, on Feb. 24, it has been ramped up to five days a week.

During the baseball-related workout session — sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon depending on his schedule — Hechavarria stretches, plays catch and takes 250 swings in the cage, 200 on the field in batting practice and 150 grounders.

Hechavarria works in a hitting group with Soler, whom he knows from Cuba, and Cubs prospect Yasiel Balaguert. They alternate swinging off a tee, going through a couple buckets’ worth of balls.

Afterward, they pick them up and place them back in the bucket for the next set. The trio is getting back into the routine that will stretch over the next eight months — nine if the postseason is in the cards.

Outside pitch. Outside pitch. Inside pitch. Inside pitch.

The sound of the bat making contact with the ball fills the air. After one instance of Hechavarria weakly hitting one, a former assistant hitting coach with the Texas Rangers proclaims, "3-2, double play!"

"My favorite is fielding, but I need more hitting," Hechavarria admits. "My concentration now is on the hitting. Going up the middle and other way. I need it this year."

If his progress last season from the year before continues, the Marlins will be more than pleased. Hechavarria, who turns 26 in April, improved his batting average by 49 points to .276. Though his home runs and RBI were down, his approach at the plate remained consistent at the bottom of the order.

Back on the field for a few rounds of batting practice, Hechavarria works on finding the right-center gap, a huge area at Marlins Park with a treasure trove of triples waiting to be had (he collected 10 in 2014). One swing produces what would be an easy double play. On his next, Hechavarria finds that gap, hitting it off the wall.

true

#Marlins @adeiny11 hitting off a tee, getting ready for spring. #MLB #video #nofilter #uufff @marlins

A video posted by Christina De Nicola (@cdenicola13) on

As for the fielding, Hechavarria’s calling card, there are two simple rules in January: No diving or throwing. "Not here! Only in the game!" Hechavarria jokes.

Before taking grounders at short, Hechavarria does a drill where he gets on his knees and practices his backhand and glovehand grabs. On two straight hits, the ball goes through his legs. He owes "cinco dolares" for each error.

These days on Field C, or the "Field of Dreams," as Hernandez has begun calling it, help Hechavarria prepare for the upcoming season he is excited for.

"I practice, I train hard for spring training," Hechavarria said. "I’ve been training a lot for running, bunts, everything."

By batting eighth, Hechavarria’s speed mostly goes unused because he doesn’t want to be caught stealing with the pitcher at the plate. But Hechavarria wants to change that to make him both a threat to bunt and on the bases.

With bunting aficionado Brett Butler as the club’s third-base coach, Hechavarria envisions a fast lineup with him, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon.

"I’m focusing on hitting and getting leads from first to second base," Hechavarria said. "More of that and bunting, too. I need more bunts this year."

Before his afternoon session, Hechavarria does six sprints from left to right field and back, much like pitchers do in season. It benefits not only his legs but also his arms and elbow, which put him on the disabled list last August.

Hechavarria will then visit a local gym. Core exercises happen every day, while he alternates between arms and legs every other day. Weights are never too heavy that he’ll bulk up. In total, Hechavarria spends four hours between both workouts.

Motivating him are the expectations and excitement surrounding the club. He already knows third baseman Martin Prado, acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade. He saw Gordon wreck havoc against the Marlins last year.

"I think I did good," Hechavarria said of 2014. "My hitting is better because I did a lot of training. I’m excited for this season. This year my team is better."

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.


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Michael Frazier II drills 2 late free throws, lifts Florida past Arkansas

Updated JAN 31, 2015 4:36p ET
     

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Michael Frazier II could have been feeling sorry for himself.

He’s done it before, all season really.

But despite not getting shots to fall, Frazier stayed involved and made two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining that gave Florida a 57-56 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.

Dorian Finney-Smith added 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists for the Gators (12-9, 5-3 Southeastern Conference), who won their second straight after a three-game losing streak and got another much-needed resume-booster for the NCAA tournament.

Frazier finished with six points on 2-for-9 shooting, including 0-for-5 from 3-point line. But his play and poise in the final seconds proved to be the difference.

"Just had to stay engaged," Frazier said. "Whenever you have a tough shooting night like that, you have to find other ways to impact the game. That’s what I tried to do. The ball wasn’t going in for me, but I still wanted to help my team."

Florida had the ball with 11.5 seconds remaining, but Chris Chiozza missed a shot. Frazier got the offensive rebound and was fouled — Arkansas coach Mike Anderson disagreed with the call — by Alandise Harris. Frazier made both, a nice turnaround for the junior guard who got benched at halftime.

"It’s a great lesson for all of us as players," Florida center Jon Horford said. "No matter how the game is going for us, you never know when your moment is going to be. If he would have got out of the game mentally, been upset because he hasn’t been scoring like he normally does and he misses one of those free throws, who knows if we win the game.

"He was locked in, he was focused and he was ready to go. That’s what we need."

The Razorbacks (16-5, 5-3) had one final chance, but turned the ball over on the in-bound pass. The loss snapped Arkansas’ three-game winning streak and was the team’s 10th consecutive loss in Gainesville.

But all the talk afterward was about the foul called on Harris.

"What I was disappointed with more than anything was the officiating going down the stretch," Anderson said. "John Hampton made one of the more critical calls in this game. The last play I was not satisfied with."

Anderson continued a few minutes later, saying "for it to come down to what took place, it’s just total disappointment. I know it’s a judgment call, but that’s my judgment."

When asked whether he felt "hosed" by the call, Anderson’s wife, Marcheita, chimed in from the audience with "don’t say it."

Anderson then added "next question."

TIP-INS

Arkansas: Hasn’t won at Florida since Feb. 28, 1995. … Last four games have been decided by a combined nine points. … Portis reached double figures in scoring for the 16th consecutive game.

Florida: Improved to 10-2 all-time vs Arkansas. … Donovan benched Frazier and fellow guard Eli Carter coming out of halftime. … New football coach Jim McElwain spoke to the crowd at halftime, saying he’s going to get the Gators "back where they belong, and that’s the national championship."

PORTIS TIME:

Bobby Portis, the SEC’s leading scorer, led Arkansas with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He was a one-man show down the stretch, scoring 10 consecutive points and helping Arkansas overcome a nine-point deficit. He finished 9 of 15 from the field and didn’t have a turnover. "Bobby really stepped up and played well for us," Anderson said.

NEW STARTER:

Freshman point guard Anton Beard made his first career start for Arkansas and finished 10 points, one assist and three turnovers. He nearly made the biggest shot of the game, getting a loose ball and banking in a jumper with 11.5 seconds to play. "I thought he played well," Anderson said. "I thought he directed and took some of the pressure off (Rashad Madden) in terms of the ball-handling and let (Rashad) become a little bit better scorer, so he did a good job. He’s earned it. He’s earned that right."

UP NEXT:

Arkansas hosts South Carolina on Tuesday.

Florida plays at Vanderbilt on Tuesday.


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Snapchatters not impressed with first episode of original web series ‘Literally Can’t Even’

Snapchatters not impressed with first episode of original web series ‘Literally Can’t Even’

By Karissa Bell

Snapchat’s first original web series has arrived, and it’s not pretty.

The first episode of the aptly titled Literally Can’t Even debuted on the app’s new Snap Channel on Saturday.

Episode one, called "Sip and Surf Pool Party XXX," stars two 20-something best friends (played by Sasha Spielberg and Emily Goldwyn, who also wrote the show) in four-and-a-half minutes of cringeworthy video. (Example line: “He follows a lot of hotels on Twitter, which to me says nothing but chic.")

Needless to say, users were not impressed with Snapchat’s first attempt at original content, and quickly took to Twitter with their reactions.

No, SnapChat. ‘Literally Can’t Even’ is too damn far. Too. Damn. Far.

— Gavin O’ Driscoll (@GavinODriscoll) January 31, 2015

The original content in Snapchat Discover can be so much better. Literally Can’t Even = charmless, unfunny attempt at Broad City

— Ben Cunningham (@codeblue87) January 31, 2015

@Snapchat @snapchatsupport that "literally can’t even" crap on your discover was stupid and pathetic. you realize there’s kids on snapchat?

— gigi (@_giavannarose) January 31, 2015

I watched a generous 90 seconds of the new Snapchat original web series "Literally Can’t Even," but I literally couldn’t even. It was awful.

— Maya Kosoff (@mekosoff) January 31, 2015

Sorry @Snapchat, but ‘Literally Can’t Even’ was the worst 4min of this day. And that’s really bad.

— João Gonçalves (@jpmgoncalves) January 31, 2015

I watched Snapchat’s "Literally Can’t Even" and I get it’s supposed to be a parody and all, but it’s on par with Mean Girls 2.

— Mila Georgieva (@mila_georgieva) January 31, 2015

Snapchat’s new “web” series “Literally Can’t Even” may be the 1st questionable product decision they’ve made—the quality is just *that* poor

— Adam Besvinick (@Besvinick) January 31, 2015

Literally can’t even believe I watched @Snapchat‘s new Literally Can’t Even. Rich white girls! Party! Booze! Dubstep! Wooooooo!

— Matthew Bryan Beck (@iBeck) January 31, 2015

Snapchat’s "Literally Can’t Even" is so fucking bad that I’ve written off the service altogether.

— Jake  (@skateforjake) January 31, 2015

Luckily, in keeping with Snapchat’s ephemeral theme, the episode will disappear forever after 24 hours. Episode two will air next Saturday.

The series is part of a larger suite of changes that rolled out to Snapchat in an app update earlier this week. It included a new Discover feature, which enables media brands to publish original content made exclusively for the messaging app.

Another original series, SnapperHero, which will star YouTube and Vine celebrities, is expected to debut on Snapchat in the coming weeks.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: Snapchat


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Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina found unresponsive

Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina found unresponsive

Bobbikristina
Image: Dan Steinberg, File/Associated Press

Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late Whitney Houston, was found unresponsive Saturday morning and rushed to a hospital, the Roswell Police Department stated on Facebook.

Brown’s husband Nick Gordon and a friend found her in a bathtub in her Georgia home and administered CPR to revive her until police arrived at 10:25 a.m. She was taken to North Fulton Hospital, the AP reports.

The case remains under investigation. Police did not immediately respond to Mashable’s request for comment.

#BREAKING LIVE coverage: Bobbi Kristina hospitalized http://t.co/8y7eAcFCEq pic.twitter.com/z7knNIFJas

— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) January 31, 2015

The incident occurs just weeks before the third anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death — Houston was found dead in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel on Feb. 11, 2012. The investigation found that the 48-year-old singer had died from accidentally drowning, with heart disease and cocaine as contributing factors.

Whitney Houston and her family — especially her strained relationship with ex-husband Bobby Brown — were the subject of a Lifetime movie which aired on Jan. 17. The star’s estate, managed by sister-in-law Pat Houston, was not involved in the making of the film and publicly stated its opposition to the film.

Brown, 21, appeared in the reality TV show The Houstons: On Our Own in 2012. She is also active on social media, tweeting up until two days ago.

Let’s start this career up&&moving OUT to TO YOU ALLLL quick shall we !?!???! G. (@REALbkBrown) January 30, 2015

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Snapchatters not impressed with first episode of original web series ‘Literally Can’t Even’

Snapchatters not impressed with first episode of original web series ‘Literally Can’t Even’

By Karissa Bell

Snapchat’s first original web series has arrived, and it’s not pretty.

The first episode of the aptly titled Literally Can’t Even debuted on the app’s new Snap Channel on Saturday.

Episode one, called "Sip and Surf Pool Party XXX," stars two 20-something best friends (played by Sasha Spielberg and Emily Goldwyn, who also wrote the show) in four-and-a-half minutes of cringeworthy video. (Example line: “He follows a lot of hotels on Twitter, which to me says nothing but chic.")

Needless to say, users were not impressed with Snapchat’s first attempt at original content, and quickly took to Twitter with their reactions.

No, SnapChat. ‘Literally Can’t Even’ is too damn far. Too. Damn. Far.

— Gavin O’ Driscoll (@GavinODriscoll) January 31, 2015

The original content in Snapchat Discover can be so much better. Literally Can’t Even = charmless, unfunny attempt at Broad City

— Ben Cunningham (@codeblue87) January 31, 2015

@Snapchat @snapchatsupport that "literally can’t even" crap on your discover was stupid and pathetic. you realize there’s kids on snapchat?

— gigi (@_giavannarose) January 31, 2015

I watched a generous 90 seconds of the new Snapchat original web series "Literally Can’t Even," but I literally couldn’t even. It was awful.

— Maya Kosoff (@mekosoff) January 31, 2015

Sorry @Snapchat, but ‘Literally Can’t Even’ was the worst 4min of this day. And that’s really bad.

— João Gonçalves (@jpmgoncalves) January 31, 2015

I watched Snapchat’s "Literally Can’t Even" and I get it’s supposed to be a parody and all, but it’s on par with Mean Girls 2.

— Mila Georgieva (@mila_georgieva) January 31, 2015

Snapchat’s new “web” series “Literally Can’t Even” may be the 1st questionable product decision they’ve made—the quality is just *that* poor

— Adam Besvinick (@Besvinick) January 31, 2015

Literally can’t even believe I watched @Snapchat‘s new Literally Can’t Even. Rich white girls! Party! Booze! Dubstep! Wooooooo!

— Matthew Bryan Beck (@iBeck) January 31, 2015

Snapchat’s "Literally Can’t Even" is so fucking bad that I’ve written off the service altogether.

— Jake  (@skateforjake) January 31, 2015

Luckily, in keeping with Snapchat’s ephemeral theme, the episode will disappear forever after 24 hours. Episode two will air next Saturday.

The series is part of a larger suite of changes that rolled out to Snapchat in an app update earlier this week. It included a new Discover feature, which enables media brands to publish original content made exclusively for the messaging app.

Another original series, SnapperHero, which will star YouTube and Vine celebrities, is expected to debut on Snapchat in the coming weeks.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Image: Snapchat


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Durant could be returning to lineup against Memphis after injury

Updated JAN 31, 2015 4:32p ET
     

The Thunder have been without Kevin Durant the past two games but Durant could be in the lineup Saturday night at Memphis.

According to The Oklahoman’s Anthony Slater, Durant wasn’t walking with a limp at the end of the Thunder’s shootaround today in Memphis.

OKC coach Scott Brooks told The Oklahoman Durant participated in parts of the team’s shootaround and that Durant would be a game-time decision.

Durant injured a toe on his left foot Sunday at Cleveland. He didn’t play in the Thunder win against Minnesota Monday and also didn’t play Wednesday against the Knicks in New York.

The Thunder are 14-7 with Durant in the lineup but just 9-14 without him. The Thunder are in 10th place, four games behind Phoenix for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK

MORE FROM FOX SPORTS SOUTHWEST: 

- Highest paid coaches in college football

- Ranking NFL quarterback salaries

- Oldest player on every NBA team


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For Adeiny Hechavarria, hitting taking precedence in offseason drills

Updated JAN 30, 2015 8:31p ET
     

WESTON, Fla. – The 10 a.m. class bell sounds at Tequesta Trace Middle School as 10 Major League Baseball players and prospects stretch yards away in an adjacent park.

Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria should be along the third-base line with Chicago Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler and veteran right-hander Jose Veras, but he is running late for the morning workout.

Hechavarria arrives 20 minutes later wearing the retro Miami Sun Sox cap the team donned at Wrigley Field this past June, orange and black Marlins shorts and a black dri-fit Marlins T.

The 2014 Gold Glove finalist has a valid excuse: He was finishing up an English lesson he has three times a week over the offseason.

Although the other ballplayers speak Spanish — and do so in the cages in between turns hitting — Hechavarria’s agent, Bart Hernandez, recommended he learn the language.

"It’s good for my teammates — for talking to the guys, for everybody, for everything," Hechavarria said. "In Cuba, I didn’t speak English ever, but here everything."

When the 2014 season ended in late September, Hechavarria took a three-week break, which included a trip to St. Lucia. Once he began exercising again, he threw and worked out — just nothing too strenuous — three times a week. With he and the other Miami position players set to report to Jupiter, Florida, on Feb. 24, it has been ramped up to five days a week.

During the baseball-related workout session — sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon depending on his schedule — Hechavarria stretches, plays catch and takes 250 swings in the cage, 200 on the field in batting practice and 150 grounders.

Hechavarria works in a hitting group with Soler, whom he knows from Cuba, and Cubs prospect Yasiel Balaguert. They alternate swinging off a tee, going through a couple buckets’ worth of balls.

Afterward, they pick them up and place them back in the bucket for the next set. The trio is getting back into the routine that will stretch over the next eight months — nine if the postseason is in the cards.

Outside pitch. Outside pitch. Inside pitch. Inside pitch.

The sound of the bat making contact with the ball fills the air. After one instance of Hechavarria weakly hitting one, a former assistant hitting coach with the Texas Rangers proclaims, "3-2, double play!"

"My favorite is fielding, but I need more hitting," Hechavarria admits. "My concentration now is on the hitting. Going up the middle and other way. I need it this year."

If his progress last season from the year before continues, the Marlins will be more than pleased. Hechavarria, who turns 26 in April, improved his batting average by 49 points to .276. Though his home runs and RBI were down, his approach at the plate remained consistent at the bottom of the order.

Back on the field for a few rounds of batting practice, Hechavarria works on finding the right-center gap, a huge area at Marlins Park with a treasure trove of triples waiting to be had (he collected 10 in 2014). One swing produces what would be an easy double play. On his next, Hechavarria finds that gap, hitting it off the wall.

true

#Marlins @adeiny11 hitting off a tee, getting ready for spring. #MLB #video #nofilter #uufff @marlins

A video posted by Christina De Nicola (@cdenicola13) on

As for the fielding, Hechavarria’s calling card, there are two simple rules in January: No diving or throwing. "Not here! Only in the game!" Hechavarria jokes.

Before taking grounders at short, Hechavarria does a drill where he gets on his knees and practices his backhand and glovehand grabs. On two straight hits, the ball goes through his legs. He owes "cinco dolares" for each error.

These days on Field C, or the "Field of Dreams," as Hernandez has begun calling it, help Hechavarria prepare for the upcoming season he is excited for.

"I practice, I train hard for spring training," Hechavarria said. "I’ve been training a lot for running, bunts, everything."

By batting eighth, Hechavarria’s speed mostly goes unused because he doesn’t want to be caught stealing with the pitcher at the plate. But Hechavarria wants to change that to make him both a threat to bunt and on the bases.

With bunting aficionado Brett Butler as the club’s third-base coach, Hechavarria envisions a fast lineup with him, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon.

"I’m focusing on hitting and getting leads from first to second base," Hechavarria said. "More of that and bunting, too. I need more bunts this year."

Before his afternoon session, Hechavarria does six sprints from left to right field and back, much like pitchers do in season. It benefits not only his legs but also his arms and elbow, which put him on the disabled list last August.

Hechavarria will then visit a local gym. Core exercises happen every day, while he alternates between arms and legs every other day. Weights are never too heavy that he’ll bulk up. In total, Hechavarria spends four hours between both workouts.

Motivating him are the expectations and excitement surrounding the club. He already knows third baseman Martin Prado, acquired from the New York Yankees in a trade. He saw Gordon wreck havoc against the Marlins last year.

"I think I did good," Hechavarria said of 2014. "My hitting is better because I did a lot of training. I’m excited for this season. This year my team is better."

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.


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Ohio State lowers ticket price for 2 non-conference games

Updated JAN 31, 2015 1:10p ET
     

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio State is lowering the football ticket price for two non-conference games next season, but tickets for games against Penn State and Michigan State will be more than $100.

The school says tickets for games against Hawaii and Western Michigan will drop from $79 to $65.

Tickets for the Penn State game will be $125 and the price for the Michigan State tickets will be $150.

The three other homes games against Northern Illinois, Maryland and Minnesota will be priced at $79.

Ohio State began charging a premium for marque games in 2013, but this is the first time the university has cut prices under its new ticketing plan.

Ohio State led the nation in attendance last year, averaging 106,000 fans.


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Jack White Brings Familiar Set, Inspired Guests (Run the Jewels + Zach de la Rocha) to MSG

JW_LazarettoArt.jpg
Jack White played Madison Square Garden on Friday, January 30. We will post live photos from the show as soon as they are made available.

Better Than: Lightning caught in a bottle, shaken up and popped off. Twice.

Run The Jewels and Jack White are unlikely bill buddies outside of a festival lineup, but the rap duo and the Third Man Records president matched each other note for note as far as intensity, engagement and all-around enthusiasm at Madison Square Garden–and the special guests they both tapped for the occasion certainly didn’t hurt.

2014 was a momentous year for both acts: White toured relentlessly behind Lazaretto, his second solo full-length that would go on to break vinyl sales records and rack up a number of Grammy nominations. Run The Jewels dropped RTJ 2 and topped a number of year-end lists (including ours) for their unbridled, bold sophomore effort.

Both acts could have toasted to 2014 and left their achievements in the last calendar year. Instead, they’re building on the momentum of all they’ve achieved while letting the world know that they’re not interested in resting on their laurels. Run The Jewels — producer El-P and MC Killer Mike — may be spitting fire one cutting, politically charged line at a time and White is sprinting up and down the stage trading off ear-searing solos and country-fied jams of a Nashvillian ilk with his band, but they’re both far from tired of the routine that’s worked for them for the past 13 months.

From the jump, the pulse of the evening was steady, deafening and high-watt in every way. El-P’s sincerity was endearing as hell as he was clearly overcome by the fact that he was on the MSG stage, a notable feat for any musician, let alone a native New Yorker, and the flame of his joy was maddeningly fanned by Killer Mike’s delivery and dance moves. (Why Mike hasn’t released a step-by-step video for his exquisite breakdown in "Get It" is beyond me, so get on it, internet.) "Lie, Cheat, Steal" and "Christmas Miracle" spoke to the strongest side of the duo’s partnership in that the concerned, angry and frustrated undercurrent of many of their lyrics doesn’t go away, even if they’re giggling and boasting the goofiest grins on the changeover.

From "Sea Legs" to "Blockbuster Night Part 1" to "Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)" — the latter featuring a very turnt Zach de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine — El-P and Killer Mike barely took a breath between volleys. In less than an hour, they left Madison Square Garden with scores of newly converted fans who previously had no idea what the evening held beyond some sick guitar work and "Seven Nation Army."

As for White, he met the standard Run The Jewels set and plowed through a career-spanning row, with Lazaretto cuts shouldered up against White Stripes and Raconteurs tunes, a practice he’s kept up as he’s gone from festival headlining gigs to selling out stadiums in the past year.

Since White moved to Nashville and set up shop with Third Man, he’s copped the shadow of a Southern accent and traded in his less-refined guitar sensibilities for straight studio chops the gentlemen over on Music Row wouldn’t turn their nose up at. He’s embraced this infusion of local flavor, and it’s informed the twangier versions of "Hotel Yorba" and "We’re Going To Be Friends" that have consistently stood out as set highlights throughout 2014’s festival season. (The killer band he’s assembled–complete with the exceptional Lillie Mae Rische, who juggles the fiddle, mandolin, ukulele and more throughout the show–is to be thanked for this as well.) That said, to see White lose himself in his ear-splitting solos is to see White in his element, where he’s running around in a frenzy and tangling himself up in the chord that barely keeps his ax tethered to its amplifier, all while coaxing shrieks and strident tears from his guitar with surgical precision. Yeah, a ton of White fans sold out Madison Square Garden for the sole purpose of belting back the now iconic lows of "Seven Nation Army," but Lazaretto and the live show it inspired present White at his best.

Critical Bias: Lazaretto dropped in June of 2014. White headlined Governors Ball, Bonnaroo, Forecastle, Newport Folk and more shortly thereafter. He’s been carting that creepy blue stage set that looks like a cross between American Bandstand and Beetlejuice all over the world while working out "High Ball Stepper" and "Three Women," and his live show is, more or less, exactly the same as it was when he started touring in support of the album last summer. That said, White doesn’t stick to a stagnant set list, and the covers and cameos he works into the fold keep things captivating. Q-Tip flew out of the wings to lend a few verses to "Black Bat Licorice" that had MSG keeling over in a fit of joy, and the back-and-forth between catalog favorites ("Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground;" "Steady As She Goes") wasn’t a carbon copy of the sets we’ve seen previously. Every Jack White show feels like the first Jack White show, or at least that’s what the start of 2015 feels like as he continues to tour behind his latest.

Overheard: "CHUBBY KID PROBLEMS!" Killer Mike had to pause to adjust his pants as they were in the process of hitting the floor courtesy of his exceptional, aerobic moves. (That’s more likely a "rad dancer" than a "chubby kid" problem, Mike.)

Random Notebook Dump: "Is that a small child?!" At one point in the encore, a kid was perched on the shoulders of, presumably, a parent who really, really wanted their kid to have a good look at White’s tortured face throughout "Would You Fight For My Love?" If you’re that parent, we hope you got your kid some earplugs, because BAD FORM otherwise. If you’re a tiny woman who was hoisted on the shoulders of another person and could easily be mistaken for a fourth grader, carry on.


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