Review of Eminem Live At Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium is the home of many historic moments, some great gigs and amazing boxing bouts that drive arena passion. Of course it is the spiritual home of football with major English Cup Finals taking place here over the years and of course home to the England football team. Whom, after their recent World Cup have a lot to make Wembley a happy place.
Well fear not, one Marshall Mathers, became the first rapper to headline the huge 90,000 all seater arena. This was also the first gig the Detroit born rapper had played in the city for over a decade. The crowd made up largely of a huge contingent of white middle class males, was hyped beyond belief. The atmosphere was electric and definitely befitting of the huge backdrop.
Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, may have as many critics as he does fans, but one thing is certain, he is a legend across musical genres. Eminem still plays the bitter, twisted adolescent to a tee, despite the fact he is now a mere 41 years old. This was underpinned across numerous elements of the set, but not least by his stirring rendition of My Name Is. The performance of the track was so strong, that you could be forgiven for thinking this was fresh from his head and the current state of his life.
The set had a little bit of everything, Eminem, courted controversy by appearing with a chainsaw and symbol of his past Friday 13th hockey mask. It was disturbed as well by gay and women’s rights activists, something that has followed the rapper throughout his career.
The set was moving along strongly as Eminem grew in confidence. The crowd really rocked though when (not such a) surprise guest Dr Dre came on stage to perform. Next Episode, Still Dre, Nuthin But a G Thang and Forgot About Dre were accomplished performances by the duo who seem to be made for each other. Dre, despite being a multi-millionaire after the recent acquisition of his small headphones business by Apple, performed like the master that he is. In fact, sometimes Dr Dre surpassed the young apprentice.
For me, Berzerk was the performance of the night though. The hints of old skool rap permeated the stadium and made the crowd rock as one. Other highlights and definite crowd pleasers included Toy Soldiers and Sing For The Moment. Whilst the show was definitely a bit more high budget than the early rap battles, captured so well by 8 Mile, Eminem still delivers the kind of show that would befit a freestyle king.
The underlying feeling that you never quite knew what might happen next during the show added a little spark. Eminem displayed menace and passion in is performance, a definite highlight of the live music calendar this year.