DETROIT — To steal a line from Bun B, Jay-Z and Eminem did everything but walk on water for the crowd at Comerica Park on Thursday and Friday. G-Unit, Young Jeezy, Drake, D12 and Dr. Dre were all guests at the shows, playing on a stage so huge, you could fit the entire Tigers and Lions teams on it. Before night two of the Home and Home Tour, MTV News talked to the man who had a very integral role in Em's set, the Alchemist.
Though Em tried out something new with a live band, he also had Al holding down his duties on the 1's and 2's. A few hours before taking the stage on Friday night, Al gave us his recap about the combustion at Comerica.
"I think Em tested the waters [for these shows in Detroit and New York] when we did the Europe tour," Alchemist said. "You could tell when he went out there in [Europe], when he saw the reaction of the people again, it was like, 'Right.' He's been through so much. For him to be out there sober, this is the first time he's hitting the stage — God bless the dead — without Proof. The [European shows] were big shows and a big step. You got the feeling he knew he had the step still, and people love him the same way.
"I looked at the crowds in Europe and said, 'You have to do those shows in America,' " he continued. "A lot of times you go overseas. The love is the same. But the energy you see at these festivals [overseas], wow! Coming back from that and hitting the stage [Thursday in Detroit], reassured me, with a little bit of organization and some thought, the energy is the same in America. I was thrilled, like, 'Wow. We brought it home.'
"From the DJ booth [Thursday] night, it was hard. You see the sea of people on the floor. If I looked up, I saw a full stadium of people. If I squinted my eyes real hard when the records were playing, I could see them going just as hard as the people in the front were. That was amazing. Even when Jay hit the stage, he had to pause and take a moment to take it all in. I felt that too. That's not scripted.
"When Dre came out, that moment of the show, I became a fan. I was no longer DJing. At that moment when Dre came out, it was like, 'Oooooh.' He was five feet from me, he came out the floor. He was rising. It was like watching a video. It was the theatrics of a video. When he came out and did his Dre bop, it was like he never left," Al observed. "When Em said, 'You see what I do for you, Detroit,' I knew Em was really comfortable.
"When Drake came out, it's safe to say women really like Drake," Alchemist added. "The guys, of course, like him as well, but the ladies — it was a shock. I've seen them do ['Forever'] a couple times. Last night was their best interaction. They're getting into a zone where they are comfortable."
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