Last night Eminem and Jay-Z concluded their special 4-show concert tour at Comerica Park and Yankee Stadium. The tour began in Detroit and ended in the Bronx, with an incredible assortment of special guest performers. Whatever amount people paid for their ticket, this show was worth at last quadruple that number.
From a personal standpoint, I’m not a huge concert fan. The stadium concerts are too expensive, and then you end up going to the smaller venues – which are fine, but you have to stand for 2 hours. I hate that, and you have to deal with everyone and their mother bumping into you, which I also hate. You’re spending more time trying to have someone not bump into you than you are enjoying the show. Not a fan.
This concert was different. I had never been to the New Yankee Stadium because I’m a Red Sox fan. Also because whenever the Sox come to town – those tickets are really expensive, and I don’t get yelled at and told I suck when I watch at home – not entirely true.. So I show up and look for my seat. These were surprise seats because I didn’t buy the tickets and really had no idea where we were going. We (my girlfriend and I) sat in the row of seats normally used for handicapped patrons, which in all honesty are pretty comfortable. You have leg room, and the seats are moveable, so if you want to get up and dance – dance- dance you have room. They may be the only seats I ever want to sit in again.
The show began relatively on time, with Eminem coming out first. Here’s the deal with Eminem. He came out in 1999, I was a huge fan then, as were a lot of slim white people who enjoy rap music – because finally we had one of our own to listen to. He had a very strong 6 year run in which he built himself into a pop culture icon with hit records and a movie. In 2005 – he took some time off because of drug abuse and his buddy Proof getting shot, and there were some pictures online of him gaining like 50 pounds. So he may have let himself go a little bit. But now, now he’s back, and he’s killer.
Eminem came onstage with Kon Artis – one of the members of D12, which has a new album coming out. I didn’t know that. It says they were on a 6-year hiatus. I didn’t know. It says they were never that good. It didn’t say that but, I knew that. wonder if it’s a coincidence that they tend to show up and then fade away with Eminem. So I think Em took the members of D12 backstage and said I need one of you to be onstage with me and help carry the vocals a little bit. Then everyone stepped forward and Kon Artis handed Em a 50 dollar bill and the deal was done.
Here’ a little aside. In the modern era with smartphones and facebook and twitter, you know what people do at concerts? They stare at their cellphones while the music is playing so they can tell everyone how the concert is. You just paid $200 for a concert ticket and you’re going to play with your phone the whole time. C’mon Man!
Eminem went through just about all of his new and old songs, it was impressive and there was never a dull moment. He brought on 50 Cent, who is fresh off losing 50 pounds for a new movie he’s in. I hope it does well, I mean, he’s a good actor, right? Rihanna didn’t come on for ‘Not Afraid’ , but he did bring on Dr. Dre, who got a huge applause. It was one of those shows with so many specials guests that you were shocked when people didn’t show up.
When Em was done, there was a 20 minute break, and then Jay-Z came on-stage. Truth be told, I’ve always been a bigger Eminem fan. Maybe because I’m white. Who knows. I realized this when I knew everyone one of Eminem’s songs and not all of Jay-Z’s work. Mr. Z came on with Kanye, and then with Nicki Minaj, Drake, and then with Mary J. Blige, and then with Swizz Beats, and then Memphis Bleek, and then with Eminem, and then with Beyonce, and gave a shout out to DJ Kool Herc who was in the front row. So what I’m saying is, there were a mother-f’n lot of hip hop stars at this concert.
At the end of his shows Jay-Z does this thing where he starts talking to the audience and pointing out people It’s a lot of ‘ I see you with the hat on, I see you with the tattoo, I see you with the sign on.’ I was waiting for the ‘hey, I see you with the incredibly large breasts – not you sir, the woman next to you.’ It never happened. It’s pretty cool, and then he invited a young fan on stage to sing happy birthday. Her name was Gisele, like the model, so he asked her to strut like she was on the cat walk. She obliged. I’m 30 and if you asked me up on stage at a concert at a large venue and asked me to do anything, I would probably pass out. Long Live Jay-Z and Eminem.