Review: Eminem, Bellahouston Park

Eminem doesn’t perform in Scotland all that often – and it had been four years since his last visit here.

There’s always that one familiar part when the boy from the wrong side of Detroit makes it to these shores, though. He puts on an amazing show.

Last night’s gig at Bellahouston Park, part of this year’s Glasgow Summer Sessions, was no exception.

From beginning to end, the rap superstar prowled the stage with a youthful energy that belied his 44 years.

Decked out in three-quarter-length black shorts with a hoody over a baseball cap, if you saw this guy and his crew coming towards you in a dark alley you’d probably turn around and take to your heels. Put him on a stage in the south side of Glasgow, however, and he is like a magnet, drawing the hordes towards him from all sides of Bellahouston Park.

Before Eminem took to the stage, the early birds were treated to a mixed bag of warm-up acts.

Best among them were main support act Run The Jewels, the hip-hop group formed in 2013 by rappers Killer Mike and EI-P.

RTJ’s signature rap style with a heavy bass backdrop has earned them plenty of admirers over the years, and they had no problem winning over the 35,000-strong crowd.

Marshall Mathers was the man everyone was here to see, of course, and he took to the stage to a heroes’ welcome.

Joined by D:12 mainman Mr Porter, Eminem delighted the crowd by telling them he loves playing in this country more than anywhere else, and that he’d been looking at houses in Scotland prior to the gig.

The dynamic duo then announced that they were moving to Scotland because “things weren’t going too well back home.”

Emimen then screamed “Motherf****** Donald Trump” into his mic before launching into White America, a politically-charged track from his fourth studio album, 2002’s The Eminem Show.

The rapper had kicked off the gig with Square Dance and from there he proceeded to churn out the hits in quick succession – the likes of Stan, Sing For The Moment, Love The Way You Lie and Like Toy Soldiers prompting the crowd to pull their mobile phones from their pockets, turn on the torches, and light up the night sky.

While the aforementioned anthems delighted many, others were clearly here for the grittier, more hard-hitting songs like Kill You, Just Don’t Give A F*** and Criminal.

Unsurprisingly, though, you sensed a collective delight among the crowd when Eminem dusted off old classics My Name Is and The Real Slim Shady.

The rap god wrapped up a career-spanning, 32-song set with the 8 Mile track Lose Yourself, by the end of which no one was in any doubt they’d witnessed one of the best gigs of the year.

Words: Gary Flockhart

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