PASADENA, CALIFORNIA — Let’s just start by saying that Eminem and Rihanna didn’t keep it PG when their Monster Tour kicked off at the Rose Bowl Stadium on Thursday night, but you probably expected as much. The expletives started flying within the first minute of the show, and the frequent collaborators kept it raw and uncensored for the entirety of the night.
Over the course of two and a half hours, they ran through a comprehensive set list, that included classics like “Umbrella” and “Stan,” all the way up to recent hits like “Diamonds” and “Rap God.” There was a ‘lil something for everyone who came out. Here’s what went down at Em and Rihanna’s Monster Tour opening night.
They teamed up for a hilarious opening skit.
It’s been a minute since we watched “8 Mile,” so it’s easy to forget that Eminem can flex his acting chops when necessary. The show began with an opening skit that finds Rih being lead into a maximum security prison (by “Sopranos” actors Michael Imperioli) to visit an insane captive in isolation.
Naturally, that prisoner turns out to be Eminem, who immediately launches into a hilarious tirade about why the hell it took Rihanna so long to show up. After ranting about being forced to eat dry cereal, and being imprioned so long that he can’t remember his age, Rih calls him an “ungrateful f–k” and storms out…leaving him to beg for her to come back. We give this one five gold stars.
There were too many F-bombs to count.
We’re not saying that we expected a PG-rated show from the two people who brought us “Love the Way You Lie” and “The Monster,” but they really didn’t hold back when it came to language. During the first 10 minutes of the show, we estimate that Em and Rih had already spit out the F-word about 15 times in varying form. That includes when Rih called Em an “ungrateful f–k” in the opening skit, five minutes when later she urged the crowd to “make some noise for this motherf—er,” and again when she wanted to know “how the f–k California was doing tonight.”
Fans were treated to a couple of Rih-lly awesome remixes.
To to honest, Em and Rihanna didn’t spend quite as much time on stage together as we’d hoped — they both performed pretty long solo sets (and the crowd even started chanting for Shady to come out at some point) — but they did treat the audience to some new renditions of classics. One of Eminem’s most infamous singles “Stan,” for example, got some new life with Rihanna singing Dido’s vocals, as well as “Airplanes,” where she replaced Paramore’s Hayley Williams.
Eminem really dipped into his classics.
Our survey of the audience found that fans ranged from those who were seeing Em live for the first time, to those who were already on their fifth show. Wherever they fell on the spectrum, though, they had to be pleased with the extensive set list, which hit recent releases like “Berzerk” and “Rap God,” and looped all the way back to The Marshall Mathers LP and The Slim Shady LP with cuts like “Marshall Mathers, “Just Don’t Give A F–k,” “Criminal” and “The Real Slim Shady.”
Rihanna wore a lot of clothing.
What the f@$! was that about? Since BadGadRiRi has refused to return to Instagram, we’ve had to get our fill of her salacious photos from Twitter, or via posts from other celebrities. So, on Thursday night we were really hoping to catch an eye-full of Rih on stage, but unfortunately the 26-year-old kept it pretty demure with her outfit choices. She hit the stage in a pair of yellow and black flaming harem pants, with a matching jacket and crop top. And halfway through the show she switched into a short black dress with lace trim, under an oversized black jacket covered in patches. Definitely not what we were expecting.
But she definitely did plenty of crotch-grabbing and booty poppin’.
Clearly we were surprised by Rih’s decision to cover up for the Monster Tour, but at least she didn’t stop grabbing her crotch and grinding her behind everywhere. The crotch-grabbing happened during just about every song except “You Da One,” and it happened extra during “Birthday Cake” and “Phresh Out the Runway.” The booty poppin’…well, that was for most songs minus the slow, emotional numbers like “Stan.”
They saved ‘The Monster’ for a grand finale.
Didn’t think they were gonna give it up so soon, did ya? After running through approximately 47 songs between them, they finally closed the night with their recent collaboration, and had the audience screaming.