Chicago, IL -- The question all day wasn't if Eminem would bring out a special guest for his Lollapalooza headlining slot on Friday night (August 1), but who it would be. A lot of diehards were hoping (maybe dreaming) that it would be mentor Dr. Dre.
Marshall did them one better when, 40 minutes into a energetic set, his upcoming Monster Tour mate Rihanna rose up out of the stage for a high-intensity mini-suite of duets. The crowd went nuts, to put it mildly. While Em was dressed down in grey workout shorts and a throwback LL Cool J "I'm Bad" t-shirt, Rihanna looked regal in a black head wrap, black and white mini-dress and matching scarf.
Rih Rih sounded pitch perfect at the opening of "Love the Way You Lie," her voice echoing over the stunned crowd, who quickly whipped out their phones to get a shot of the unexpected superstar summit. Em came smashing in for his verse, stalking the stage as his partner hung back and rolled her shoulders and rocking her hips to the swaying beat.
The pair then moved right into "The Monster," finally locking eyes for just a few moments midway through that massive hit and sizing each other up before, just like that, Rihanna was gone.
There was still plenty of show, though, as the crowd went understandably bananas when Em busted out a three-pack of oldies, starting with "My Name Is" and "The Real Slim Shady" and then sliding into "Without Me," which was amped up with a thumping EDM vibe. He threw in a bunch of other crowd favorites during the set, including "Bizness, "Kill You," "Rap God," "Criminal," "The Way I Am," "Berzerk" and "Cinderella Man."
The night came roaring to a close with a majestic "Not Afraid," complete with a hard rock guitar solo and a sea of tens of thousands hollering the chorus along with Eminem. Then, Marshall's sure-fire, crowd-pleasing finale, "Lose Yourself," brought the whole thing home in style. Dedicated it to "anyone who's ever lost someone," Em bounced on his toes like a boxer during the ultimate rap anthem, looking hardly winded after 90 minutes of throwing hard punches.