Detroit rapper tells crowd 'I can't get fucked up with you all' during headline appearance
Eminem referenced his battle with drug addiction as he headlined the Main Stage of Reading Festival on Saturday (August 24).
The Detroit rapper, who was making his return to the festival after 12 years, was joined by an eight-piece band and hype man Mr Porter.
Midway through, Mr Porter pointed out a raucous girl in the audience, prompting him to ask the crowd, “How many people are as fucked up as this girl right now?”
Eminem continued, telling his fans, “Obviously, Reading, I can’t get fucked up with you all. I know that’s fucked up. But can I take you back to when I did get fucked up?”
Earlier, Dido joined Eminem onstage following a cryptic Instagram post from the British singer in the afternoon. She arrived unannounced as ‘Stan’ kicked in and the track ignited the first massive singalong of the night. As Eminem rapped the line, “I got your name tattooed on my chest“, he lifted his T-shirt, flashing his body to the noisy crowd. At the end of the song, he told the audience, “Make some noise for Dido, y’all,” before hugging the singer as she left the stage.
The rapper – real name Marshall Mathers – had taken to the stage 15 minutes later than scheduled, wearing a camouflage hoody, baseball cap and baggy shorts. Latest track ‘Survival’, which was unveiled online last week, opened the set, followed by ‘3am’.
Eminem asked, “Why do I say all the fucked up things I say? Maybe it’s because I want to piss people off, or maybe it’s because…” before launching into ‘Don’t Give A Fuck’. ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’ was next, leading into a rapturously received ‘The Way I Am’.
Bad Meets Evil – his side-project with rapper Royce da 5’9″ – even made its way on to the greatest hits setlist, with ‘Fast Lane’ and the 2011 single ‘Lighters’ creating a lighters-in-the-air moment for the hip-hop star.
“I just realised we haven’t talked to the ladies all night,” Eminem then joked. “Are there any ladies at Reading? Ladies, I want to ask you a fucking question tonight. How many of you have ever been in a relationship like this?” ‘Love The Way You Lie’ then dropped, with visuals on the E-shaped stage backdrop turning to flames, mimicking the song’s cinematic video.
“How many of you are real hip-hop fans?” Mathers then asked to roars from the crowd, before giving shout-outs to the next generation of rap stars. “Make some noise for Action Bronson. Make some noise for Chance The Rapper. Make some noise for Odd Future.”
He then launched into a three-track nostalgic medley of ‘My Name Is’, ‘The Real Slim Shady’ and ‘Without Me’, before ‘Not Afraid’ ended Eminem’s triumphant return to Reading’s Main Stage. Chants of “we want more” were silenced as the rapper prowled back onstage for a one-track encore.
‘Lose Yourself’, from the 8 Mile soundtrack, brought Eminem’s headline set to a close, with the star of the show paying homage to the riotous fans: “Thank you so much. We love you all. Peace.”
‘Won’t Back Down’
‘Just Don’t Give A Fuck’
‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’
‘The Way I Am’
‘Airplanes, Part II’
‘Sing For The Moment’
‘Like Toy Soldiers’
”Till I Collapse’
‘Love The Way You Lie’
‘My Name Is’
‘The Real Slim Shady’