Growing up there are usually one or two artists you grow up on that are usually the first real explicit material that you listen to or really get you into music. For me and many others in their mid to late 20’s that artist was Eminem. So to see Eminem last night (August 1st), rx for the first time ever live and as one of the many headlining acts on the first day of Lollapalooza’s 10th Anniversary in Grant Park was a real surreal feeling for me and I’m sure many others.
Em didn’t disappoint either as wearing grey jersey shorts and a white T-Shirt printed with LL Cool J’s classic Bigger and Deffer album, he went through many of his classics hits such as, “The Way I Am,” “Kill You,” “Just Don’t Give A Fuck,” “Rap God,” “Criminal, and “Sing for the Moment” before bringing out fellow Detroit native and frequent collaborator Royce Da 5’9” as his first surprise guest for their 2011 hit single “Fast Lane.”
Still riding off the high off bringing out Royce, Marshall then went into a couple of his more somber hits that nearly brought me and I’m sure many other to tears with his hits like “Toy Soldier,” which was dedicated to his and Royce’s late great friend and fellow Detroit native Proof of Em’s group D12. Em followed that with his hit “Buisiness” with late great hook man and Hip-Hop legend Nate Dogg.
One of the biggest surprises of the night than followed, as 40 minutes into his very energetic 60 minute set from the Samsung Galaxy stage, Marshall had his soon to be Monster Tour mate Rihanna rise up out of the stage for a very high-intensity mini-set of duets between the two collaborators. Understandably so, me and a lot of the other crowd went nuts, as Rihanna donning a very exquisite black and white mini-dress, which showed a pretty decent amount of cleavage and a matching scarf, as well as black head wrap started to sing the two collaborators hit “Love The Way You Lie.”
As soon as you could hear Rih Rih’s pitch perfect vocals echoing over me and everyone eslse in the stunned crowd, we knew we where in for a real treat. As Em then came smashing onto the stage for his verse like a boxer coming in for a knockout blow of his opponent, with his partner Ri hanging back and rolling her shoulders and rocking her hips to the swaying beat.
The pair then continued to give a preview of their upcoming mini Monster Tour, which is set to open this Thursday, August 8th at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. by going into their appropriately titled hit, which the tour got it’s name from, “The Monster.” As the two superstars locked eyes for just a few moments midway through the massive hit and sizing each other up, before thanking the crowd for having her, and just like that, Rihanna was gone.
An even bigger highlight though is when Rihanna surprisingly, perfectly filled in for Dido’s memorable hook on his 1999 hit, “Stan.”
Em wasn’t done yet still though with plenty of show left, as he went into a three-pack of his older, but more memorable hits, starting with “My Name Is” before going into “The Real Slim Shady” and “Without Me.” Understandably so me and a lot of the crowd went bananas, to put it as an understatement. With a few other really crowd favorites like “Berzerk” and “Cinderalla Man” also making the cut into the very energetic and amazing set.
Even so Marshall still wasn’t done, as the night came to a roaring close with a very high-energy and memorable performance of “Not Afraid,” which included a complete majestic hard rock guitar solo, that had me and the sea of tens of thousands of fans hollering the chorus along with Em.
Or did the night really come to a close? No it did not. As after a few minutes hiatus, Em came roaring back out to delight of me and the rest of the crowd to close out with his ultimate rap anthem, “Lose Yourself” to the real delight of me and the rest of the jam-packed crowd in Grant Park. Bouncing around on his toes like a prized fighter set to enter the ring for his title bout to claim his title, Em looked hardly winded at all after the sure-fire, crowd-pleasing finale and ready to go another 12 rounds. And like that the first day of Lolla closed with me and everyone else blown away by Em’s amazing performance and set, which will be talked about for years and probably centuries to come.