Saturday, October 31, 2009

Eminem: Voodoo Festival Concert Recap

(photo courtesy of Danny Bourque / The Times-Picayune /

Eminem at the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans on Friday October 30, 2009.

As reported by Keith Spera for The Times-Picayune/

He (Eminem) arrived on the main Voodoo Stage on time, moments after the French duo Justice completed a tedious deejay/rave set. Among major rappers, Eminem was one of the first to understand that arenas require an arena-size show. Thus, the giant backdrop screen flashed videos and graphics cued to Eminem’s lyrics (a screen to the left of the stage apparently short-circuited, fading to red distortion). He deployed live musicians – drums, percussion, bass, guitar, keyboards – for much of the set. They costumed as skeletons and stood atop platforms fronted by LED screens. In “Beautiful,” the guitarist even ripped off a credible solo.

Eminem wore a black hoodie over a white T-shirt for the opening “3 a.m.,” yet another of his homicidal fantasies, this one from his current “Relapse” album. He soon changed into a red shirt, black sleeveless jacket and black cap. “I’m back, ya’ll,” he said. “Did you miss me? I missed you too, man. It’s been a minute, huh, New Orleans?”

As reported by Alex Rawls at Rolling Stone

For the occasion, Eminem had a live band dressed in skeleton costumes that added muscle, particularly in the closing “Without Me.” To further beef up the sound, he was joined onstage by a hype-man (D-12's Denaun Porter) throughout, and D12 for part of the show. He took time out to salute the late Proof, “the real leader of the group” in one of the set’s few tender moments.

The D12 segment also featured one of the more awkward moments as Em — who addresses his struggles with prescription pills openly on this year’s Relapse — recalled “when we was fucked up”. “When you was fucked up,” Big Proof corrected, then Eminem started talking about a time in Amsterdam when he was so loaded he was under the table and speaking a new language. The skit seemed designed to put Eminem’s drug problems in a “one of the boys” context, but the high-school-drama-class delivery undermined it.

Excerpt from Creative Loafing - Vibes blog site.

The highlight for many of the thousands in attendance was the headliner of Eminem who performed for roughly an hour and 15 minutes as he made his return to the stage after a five-year hiatus. He hit the stage to “3. A.M.” “Hey New Orleans, I’m back. Did you miss me?” Eminem asked the crowd. After a huge applause – “I missed you, too.”

His set mashed up a number of his hits as he quickly went from one song into another in a sort of medley. “We Made You,” “The Real Slim Shady,” “Stan,” “Kill You” and “Toy Soldiers” were big sing-alongs, as was his encore of “Lose Yourself.”

Eminem also brought out the guys from his band, D12 for “My Band” and “Purple Pills” after joking about “when he used to get high.” Welcome back, Eminem… I’m not a big fan, but it was an entertaining, head-bobbing performance.

Read each show recap here:
Rolling Stone
Creative Loafing - Vibes

Getty Images
Film Magic
Wire Image

Fan shot footage below.

(video courtesy of bkraji & ryans2k8)

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