NEW JERSEY, Conn. (WTNH)– Several Connecticut hip hop fans flocked to New Jersey this weekend for the “Monster Tour,” with rap legend Eminem and chart topper Rihanna as the headliners.
Eminen and Rihanna joined forces for only six shows in three cities at stadiums in L.A., New Jersey and Detroit.
While it may not be an obvious coupling of headliners, like power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce’s “On the Run Tour, ” or Lil Wayne and protege Drake’s “Drake Vs. Lil Wayne” Tour, Eminem and Rihanna’s collaborations on 2010 “Love the Way You Lie” and 2014’s “Monster” prove that fans love these two together.
“Sickest concert I’ve ever been to,” said Zach Levinson, Connecticut.
The show was a monster hit. It opened to a parody video of “Hannibal” with Rihanna as “Clarice” and Eminem as “Hannibal”, sending roars of laughter throughout the jam packed stadium. From the start, you could tell these two were going to be fun.
With the crowd fired up, the duo hit the stage. The show started out with Eminem and Rihanna rising out of the floor at Met Life Stadium to Rihanna’s “Numb,” a song which features Eminem. The two then performed a few more songs together, with Rihanna singing the chorus to Eminem songs that featured other female artists.
While Rihanna has had hit after hit and is a huge superstar in her own right, it’s hard not to point out that it was Eminem who stole the show. The self proclaimed “Rap God” has rarely toured the U.S. the past few years and lives out of the spotlight in Detroit.
“I loved the way Em and Rihanna shared the stage, performing their hits together and going back and forth with their own sets,” said Brooke Fischer, of Connecticut.
Rihanna took the stage alone first, performing several of her hits. It was hard to keep your eyes of the gorgeous singer with her effortlessly cool, laid back vibe that transcends the stage. The songstress looked naturally sexy in long printed pants, a concert t-shirt and sneakers, her long hair flowing with every dance move. It should be noted that unlike other female pop stars, fashion forward Rihanna only changed her outfit twice, reiterating this concert was more about the music than a flashy production.
With the help of her back up singer and back up tracks, Rihanna broke it down with her dancers to hits like “Rude Boy” and “What’s My Name.” But the girl can obviously sing, and proved it by slowing it down with her recent song “Stay” and a slowed down version of “We Found Love.”
Then it was time for the “real Slim Shady, it’s clear his fans have been waiting for this concert for a long time.
“Truly his, truly his biggest fan,” said Andrew Silverman, of New York.
If there was any doubt the rapper lost his touch after laying low for a few years to deal with personal problems, from addiction to his friend’s death, he put all doubt to rest.
“I’ve wanted to see Eminem perform live for years and finally got the chance. He killed it song after song, with an amazing performance and energy,” said Fischer.
Fans hung on Eminem’s every word, rapped a mile a minute in each verse, while he ran around the large stage, giving 100 percent to every song. The rapper still has the same relentless passion and did not hold back when it came to performing anything from his radio friendly hits to his more controversial songs.
And it wasn’t just his newer album showcased. He tackled most of his albums in his long career from his 2000 album the Marshall Mathers LP, to his Oscar winning hit, to 2002’s “Lose Yourself”, to his recent success with 2013’s “Berzerk.”
Eminem, who has reached legendary status in hip hop, seemed just as excited and grateful to be there as the fans. And while the artist has gotten flack for his lyrics, he was very personable on stage, interacting with fans in the crowd, even joking with a fan to rip up his sign. His high energy and good sense of humor lightened the rap show, but he took a moment to shed some light on addiction before performing 2013’s “Not Afraid” about his very own struggles with it.
While the tour may only last a few more shows, one more Sunday night in New Jersey and two more in Detroit, it’s clear that “rap’s villain” and “bad gal Riri” could have sold out stadiums together the whole summer long.