Live Review: Eminem x Rihanna "The Monster Tour" – Los Angeles
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 09:04:32
Now, at the historical Los Angeles kick-off of the six-date Monster tour, Eminem and Rihanna both indisputably delivered legendary performances—alone and together. The real marvel of the tour stood in its delicate balance of monstrous production and the raw, real, and righteous talent of the two superstars. That's not easy. In fact, both of their voices and identities popped off just as much as the pyro, fireworks, gigantic screens, and other stage accoutrements. In fact, Emimen and Rihanna both solidified themselves alongside history's greatest musical icons. They deserve that too. All too often, we hear that there are no legends anymore. Well, two of the best and brightest lit up The Rose Bowl last night and left something like 60,000 people in awe.
After a The Silence of the Lambs-inspired intro, they emerged from below the stage, Rihanna rocking flame-covered pants and a jacket and Eminem strapped into a gurney like Hannibal Lecter. Rihanna's voice sounded heavenly, heart-wrenching, and hypnotic as she went from "Numb" and during a potent "Run This Town" as Eminem tore through his viciously vibrant verses from "Renegade". Rihanna took over the hook for "No Love" and added a soulful Island spin to the song as Eminem enunciated each word with unmatched conviction. The display of mic fireworks burned the brightest.
Rihanna carried "Live Your Life" alone with magnetic swagger before "Crack A Bottle" popped into a dynamic duet on the bombastic "Won't Back Down". She smiled, "Make some noise for this white muthafucka", and the cheers could've registered on the Richter Scale. Meanwhile, Eminem nodded to Step Brothers exclaiming, "Look at this stage—so much more room for fucking activities!"
Those activities included an invigorating solo set from Rihanna to follow. Whether it was the sly "Talk That Talk", feverishly catchy "Cockiness", or undeniable "What's My Name?", she commanded the audience for the next hour, bringing a spark that only the likes of Madonna and Janet Jackson also possess. Make no mistake about it though, this run shows that Rihanna is the queen of pop. After a stunningly emotional "Stay", Eminem returned for one of the evening's most powerful collaborations, "Love The Way You Lie". The entire audience sang along to each word as Eminem and Rihanna traded words with unwavering energy.
Rihanna departed and Eminem proceeded to simply murder anything and everything in his path. This will go down as one of his most inspiring tours ever with his kinetic prowling and infinitely fast rapping leading inciting a veritable rush through the stadium. "3am" slashed sharper than Jason Voorhees' machete, while "Square Dance" and "Business" brought everybody back to The Eminem Show. Eminem cut through "Kill You" with the propulsive intensity and edgy sense of humor that made him the most important rapper on the planet when The Marshall Mathers LP first impacted in 2000. However, it was on "Rap God" from last year's phenomenal The Marshall Mathers LP 2 where he impressed the most. The rapid-fire cadence never relented as he nailed each moment intently, while running around the stage mind you. Suffice to say, he lived up to the title. The highlight of the set was the poignant jump back to The Slim Shady LP's one-two punch of "Just Don't Give a Fuck" and "Still Don't Give a Fuck". He reached down and channeled the same feeling of the original recordings, and it was nothing short of chilling. Then, it led into an equally fiery "Criminal" for good measure.
After asking who owned The Marshall Mathers LP and eliciting unanimous applause, he smirked, "Damn, that's a lot of fucked up individuals. Thank you for making me feel at home".
It was home for everybody in attendance because Eminem and Rihanna made it feel that way. Rihanna returned for a soaring rendition of "Airplanes" as Eminem's dreamy verse hit even harder in front of the stadium. Everything got quiet as they transfixed during a particularly poetic "Stan". Rihanna took over the Dido part with confidence, adding her own searing spin as Eminem's verses proved nothing short of moving. She also gets extra points for donning a Krokus t-shirt and a badass vest with a Slipknot patch among other iconic heavy bands!
Ultimately, this is an important moment in music's history bringing together two of today's greats and their work warrants recognition on that scale. The Monster is loose, and nothing will ever be the same afterwards.
Were you there?