Rapper headlines Scottish event to make comeback
Eminem played his first European live show in five years tonight (July 10), headlining the T In The Park festival in Scotland.
The US rapper played live at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans last October and played a Detroit hotel gig in May of that year, but beyond those two shows he had not performed a full live gig since his last UK dates in September 2005.
He played a show on the Main Stage at the Balado event, playing 29 songs and song snippets from throughout his career including old hits ‘The Real Slim Shady’, debut major label single ‘My Name Is’ and ‘The Way I Am’.
Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers, played with a minimal set-up, rapping in front of a platform housing DJs and percussion players, backed up by further live players including a bassist, guitarist and hype MC.
He opened with his Pink collaboration song ‘Won’t Back Down’ after making the crowd wait for over half-an-hour – the set had been scheduled to start at 9:15pm, but the show didn’t start until 9:50pm. Wearing a black hoody, white top and cap, Eminem rapped through ‘3am’, ‘Square Dance’, ‘W.T.F.’ and ‘Kill You’, with a gunshot sound effect ending the latter song dramatically.
He shouted “Free Lil Wayne” before playing his collaboration song ‘No Love’ – although Wayne couldn’t be present, being incarcerated in New York for gun crime.
“Edinburgh, what the fuck is up y’all?” he asked later in the set. “I missed you. Y’all know D12, make some motherfuckin’ noise.” His rap group D12 then joined him to perform ‘When The Music Stops’, ‘Under The Influence’, ‘Fight Music’, ‘Purple Pills’ and ‘My Band’.
“How many people you think out there are high tonight?” he asked the crowd. “How many people you think are just fucked up.” He and the band then performed a skit in which Mathers talked about his drug issues, saying, “I remember a time whith D12 in Amsterdam, me and [late D12 member] Proof, we were eating weed brownies. I started speaking in tongues.”
He then paid tribute to Proof, with a projected image of the late rapper shown on a screen behind the stage.
Following this‘Stan’ induced an enormous singalong from the crowd, who bellowed along the Dido-sung lines, with Eminem changing his lyrics to “remember when we met in Scotland?“. Later he and his hype MC pitted the men and women in the crowd against each other with a shout-off, and he dedicated his Rihanna collaboration song, ‘Love The Way You Lie’, to “everybody who’s been in a fucked-up relationship”.
He later acknowledged the weather, saying: “I know it’s muddy and sloppy and shit but this is fun,” before thanking the crowd for being supportive of him during the past few years. “Everybody who’s an Eminem fan, I just wanna say thank you so much for the support you’ve shown over the years, for not giving up on me,” he said. “I hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did tonight. Peace.”
He encored with ‘Lose Yourself’ , making hand movements and jumping in time with riffs played by his band to close the second night of T In The Park.
‘Won’t Back Down’
‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’
‘The Way I Am’
‘When The Music Stops’
‘Under The Influence’
‘Sing For The Moment’
‘Like Toy Soldiers’
‘Til I Collapse’
‘Love The Way You Lie’
‘Crack A Bottle’
‘My Name Is’
‘The Real Slim Shady’
NME will be coming live from T In The Park throughout the weekend. Head to NME.COM/festivals/t-in-the-park for the latest festival news, pictures and information.
Plus get next week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands from Wednesday (July 14) – for the ultimate T In The Park review.