Live Music + Gig Reviews

Eminem @ Hampden Park, Glasgow

24 June 2003

The Anger Management Tour rolled into Glasgow, having been based at Milton Keynes for the previous three days. Unfortunately this meant many of the ‘secrets’ of the show had been revealed. West Coast rapper Xzibit rode on stage on his infamous tricycle, previously shown on the Up in Smoke Tour, as well as making a guest appearance on MTV Cribs. An all too short 30-minute set featuring crowd pleaser X, personal favourite Get Your Walk On, and the classic Paparazzi. Crowd interaction was minimal, however the intro to Bitch Please had every male in attendance grinning, “I got two words for all the ladies here, it ain’t love ya, it ain’t need ya, it’s… BITCH PLEASE”.

The genre defining Cypress Hill were next up, with an impressive backdrop featuring a huge skeleton in regal wear sitting on a throne. This was, in essence, a greatest hits set featuring Insane in the Membrane and closing with Rock/Rap Superstar. I don’t think you’re allowed to criticise Cypress Hill, but the drumming was very ‘tinny’, although the drum ‘n’ bass solo the drummer did (with his hands) more than made up for the sound inadequacy.

The curtain dropped to reveal a fairground set, with The Eminem Show in prominent illuminated lights above the stage. As the Ferris wheel began moving the video screens showed footage of politicians berating rap music – an ironic statement, encapsulating Eminem‘s character. The man himself arrived on stage via the Ferris wheel before Square Dance kicked in, sending the crowd wild. Eminem whisked through tracks from the Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show, often cutting songs short in order to fit more of his hits into the set.

Slim Shady was joined on stage by D12, who performed Fight Music, Pistol Pistol, Pimp Like Me, final track Rap Game and the brilliant Purple Pills. Bizarre in particular revelled at the clever use of morphing live video, and treated us to some provocative images. The crowd were given their own role in the show too, replacing Dido in Stan as well as being crucial in Kill You. Lose Yourself, meanwhile, had the whole stadium, well, losing themselves.

Despite the fairground master insisting Eminem had left the building, it was clear an encore was in store, and a display of firecrackers welcome him back on stage.The two song encore consisted of My Dad’s Gone Crazy and unusual choice for the last song Rap Game, from the 8 Mile soundtrack.

The show was brought to a stunning close, with a spectacular fireworks display sending everyone away happy, with the only remaining question being “where the hell was 50 Cent?”. If I’m being honest I don’t care, 50’s hot but the man of the moment is definitely Eminem. Maybe my opinion of one of my idols is biased, but to have seen one of the best rappers and most controversial figures in the world today was something that will probably never be topped.

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More on Eminem
Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP2
Eminem – Recovery
Eminem – Relapse
Eminem – Curtain Call: The Hits