Eminem @ Sydney Football Stadium
Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by John Michael Bric
Labelled his ‘recovery’ tour, Eminem showed us last night that he’s far from a spent force in the rapping game.
Around a decade ago, Eminem made his first appearance on Aussie soil with his good mates D12. Since then he has released three albums, had a dozen more number one hits, and even quit, then returned to the music scene.
It’s fair to say this concert was always going to be big.
Walking into the stadium, the one thing that grabbed me was the crowd. If anything, it was the opposite to the typical American rap concert crowd. Among the teenagers decked out in Fubu and Ecko clothing, were families, elderly couples, kids who looked barely over five years old and even a stack of corporates in business suits.
To be honest it looked more like a crowd you’d see at the Royal Easter Show than at a music concert that had about a hundred swear words, and the occasional flash of nudity.
Warming up the crowd this tour was local act Hilltop Hoods. While they might not have the world-wide notoriety that Eminem has, they always put on a great live show. Last night was no exception, although the reality was, no one as here for them and it was pretty evident watching.
Now, the forgotten performer all tour has no doubt been Lil Wayne. Inside America, this guy is regarded as the best living rapper, and would easily sell out tours by himself, however here in Australia, most of us don’t even know who he is.
His support act though, didn’t go unrecognised, with a bunch of diehard fans clearly visible in the crowd, and some even leaving after his set, not even sticking around for Eminem.
Fresh from his stint in jail, Lil Wayne walked on stage with his skateboard in hand, thanking god, and as he always does, wore his shorts half way down his thighs the entire time. In among his musical act was a half pipe, which even Weezer tried his skills on from time to time.
It was around 8:30 when the main act arrived on stage to a hero’s welcome.
The 30 odd thousand people at SFS jumped to their feet, cheering overboard as he walked on stage.
But it wasn’t until four sings into his performance that Eminem actually addressed the crowd, reminding us all of his past drug habits and how this time he hopes to ‘remember’ his time down under.
With so many great hits, you’d think that a few popular tracks wouldn’t make the cut, although he did a pretty good job of squeezing them all in, even throwing out a few melodies of his hit songs.
On one occasion he strung "Stan" and "Toy Soldier" into a melody, and then backed it up with a Slim Shady combo which featured "My Name Is", "The Real Slim Shady" and "Without Me."
Of course, Eminem paid his tributes to D12 rapper and good mate Proof during the set, and at one stage, even paid tribute to Tupac. And there was also a surprise song, with Eminem covering BOB’s version of "Airplanes."
When he finally walked off stage after an hour and a half performance, it was obvious there would be an encore. And unsurprisingly it was "Lose Yourself" he finished with, which had those in the ‘lose yourself section’ going even further overboard.
All in all, Eminem put on a great performance for all ages, and I couldn’t imagine too many people disappointed with the show.
I suppose it’s just really hard to be disappointed when you have two of the world's best rappers, and Australia’s finest hip hop act on the same bill, isn’t it.