A few days ago, Em totally rocked the Bonnaroo Arts Festival.
Usually dominated by rock and pop acts, hip-hop took the cake this year, with Em at the forefront.
Em is certainly developing into quite the live performer again. In his prime (1999-2004), he was considered one of the most explosive, interesting and exciting performers on the planet but on his return he wasn’t quite as captivating. Which, is understandable when you consider how long he was out of the spotlight for (2006-2009).
So, it’s taken Em a little while to find his footing again and feel comfortable on-stage. He definitely stepped it up a gear when he did his sold-out shows with Jay-Z and he’s not let-up since.
Personally, I would love for Em to tour again and would actually LOVE to see the majority of the tracks from Relapse as well as Recovery performed live. But, since he denounced Relapse so bluntly on Recovery, he’ll look a bit silly doing that now. Despite the fact he still often opens or at least performs “3am”, “Beautiful” and “Crack a Bottle” – all of which are on Relapse.
Take a look at Em’s performance of “Cinderella Man” (one of my personal favourites from Recovery), after his all-time classic “Till I Collapse” and see what you think…
Em is 38 now so it’s definitely going to be interesting to see if he can climb back up to the level of showmanship and explosive excitement he used to exhibit in his earlier performances. I think that key to that success will be set-pieces and visuals. Unfortunately, a lot of his latest material is more-so strung together and has less cohesive themes meaning it’s harder to construct performances as consistent as those he did with songs from say The Marshall Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show. But, cheers to Em for keeping hip-hop alive. He’s certainly still a front runner and important part of the game.