Roskilde has been waiting a long time for a visit from Slim. The festival first approached the artist 17 years ago, so when he finally showed up, the Danes were ready to give him a hot reception. The festival’s main ‘Orange’ stage was full to its absolute breaking point, with many attendees calling it Roskilde’s most packed headliner show in recent memory.
Even the man himself was in agreement. “This might be the largest fucking crowd we’ve ever seen,” he said, collaborator and hype-man Mr Porter nodding from the other side of the stage.
Few could see more than the top third of the side screens, but every audience member still threw their arms up in rapture at every chorus line from Slim’s lengthy back-catalogue.
Entering to the sound of his and Dr Dre’s track ‘Medicine Man’, the sky above the stage was lit up with the first of countless firework displays that would occur during the set.
Heading back to 2002’s ‘The Eminem Show’ on America’s Independence Day, the artist launched into ‘Square Dance’ and ‘White America’, roaring over a heavy instrumental. By the time he reached ‘Rap God’, there could be no doubt of the crowd’s reverence for Eminem.
The rapper then invited Skylar Grey to join him for a trio of tracks written with female artists: ‘Love The Way You Lie’ feat. Rihanna, ‘Walk On Water’ feat. Beyonce, and the song that launched a thousand memes, Dido collab ‘Stan’. It’s a stretch to call these tracks ballads, but the emotion poured into the mic during this more low-key interval was instantly felt. Miming rumours, which have plagued Slim for years, seemed to be momentarily squashed as the rapping became rougher, stronger, realer – better.
Saving the best ‘til last, the final section of the show saw a hitlist jukebox of ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’, ‘My Name Is’, ‘The Real Slim Shady’ and ‘Without Me’. Far from playing these career-defining songs begrudgingly, the artist stood proud as he rapped the early works of genius.
Exiting the stage during a defiant performance of ‘Not Afraid’, Eminem left his live string orchestra to accompany a scorching guitar solo from the band section. It was a Rap God outro, but Eminem was back within seconds for an encore rendition of ‘Lose Yourself’. He exited for the final time, leaving a 4th of July-worthy firework display (and thousands of sweaty, overwhelmed fans) in his wake.
Eminem plays London’s Twickenham Stadium on the 14th and 15th July.
Won’t Back Down
Sing for the Moment
Like Toy Soldiers
Just Don’t Give a Fuck
The Way I Am
Walk on Water
Love the Way You Lie
‘Till I Collapse
My Name Is
The Real Slim Shady