Nicki Minaj promised fans her debut Melbourne show would be unforgettable. After three costume changes, more than 16 tracks, some banter, some dancing and a whole lotta rapping, it seemed everyone inside Hisense Arena arrived at the same sentiment.
“This is my first time ever performing in Australia,” Minaj told the sold-out crowd, to deafening cheers and screams.
“This show is going down in history. I will never forget tonight.”
And with that, Minaj launched into a rap race that seemed to pay tribute to her pre-commercial days, offering long-standing fans the chance to reminisce on the Nicki Minaj they first fell in love with, pre Kanye, pre Jay Z and pre David Guetta.
Minaj opened with fierce rap tracks “Roman Holiday” and “Did It On Em”, but exposed a sensitive side to fans, stopping in between tracks to reflect on how lucky she felt.
“You gotta be kidding! Am I really here tonight?” she asked the crowd. “Oh my god you guys look amazing, and you smell good. You’re so scrumptious and sexy, seriously. Who are you so amazing?”
After indulging in some of her finest – like “Moment 4 Life”, “Stupid Hoe” and “Right By Your Side” – Minaj left the stage for her first of three costume changes. Re-emerging from pinks and florals in white leather knee-high boots and a bright white tutu – the party really began.
“Starships”, “Turn Me On” and “Where Them Girls At” transformed eager concert-goers into ruthless nightclub hounds, with dance moves and booty-bopping taking place in every corner of the arena.
While Minaj oozes talent, it seems she can't quite nail every facet of the demanding on-stage antics for today's top entertertainer. In what became an utterly charming revelation, Minaj raps like a beast... and dances like a Barbie Doll. Her moves are ad-hoc and unplanned, yet totally endearing.
To add to her charm, Minaj also offered fans some insight into her crazy and colourful personality when she invited three lucky fans on stage. Challenging them to a rap war with a cash incentive, Minaj and her peeps couldn’t have selected three more varied crowd members.
A wannabe rapper from Brisbane blew Minaj away with an impressive rendition of her Trey Songz collaboration "Bottoms Up", a diehard male fan from Reservoir threw in the towel after one short verse (thankfully) and a young dancer refused to rap but asked Minaj for the chance to put her sweet dance moves on display, and Madame Minaj kindly obliged.
Minaj hasn’t just become the world’s most popular female rap diva because of her music; fans worldwide have fallen victim to her zany personality – and she didn’t hold back last night.
“Have you ever been heartbroken? Have you ever broken someone else’s heart? And did they deserve it,” she asked screaming fans. “One time, someone broke my heart and I wanted to kill them. Is that bad?”
Wrapping up with "Super Bass", Minaj ended her debut Melbourne show with the perfect track. The magical moments through her jam-packed set were mindblowing and were felt by everyone in the arena. And those are the "Moment(s) 4 Life" that fans will hold onto until this crazy cat next comes Down Under.
Let's hope we don't have to wait for two more albums until she greets us again!