Eminem – Fack Trump and Fireworks

August 27, 2017

Fireworks. Guest appearances. Fake gun shots. More songs than we’ve known one artist to squeeze into a 90 minute set. And thousands of fans, most likely the entirety of Reading, (because who would miss such an opportunity as this?) congregated to see the amazing headline act tonight, that was Eminem live at Reading.

Not as close as we’d like, but still within sight of the stage, we felt the hum of activity and sound as the crowd waited for ‘The King Of Hip Hop’ for his third headliningyear for this festival. You could taste the expectation resonating from every hungry fan, and more than one tried (and failed) to push themselves closer to the stage. (Of course we’re not talking about us!…) Shoulder to shoulder we waited, until finally we were rewarded with roars of appreciation, and Eminem (complete with live band) strode centre stage, making his presence known to the first track ‘Won’t Back Down’. We all screamed our appreciation at merely being in the presence of the real Slim Shady, making mental notes of who we would tell about this moment once the weekend was over.

Once settled and having established a few solid tracks (‘3am’, ‘Business’ and ‘Kill You’), Eminem used his time to state his strong opinions of Donald Trump, sporting a ‘Fack Trump’ Tshirt that hasbecome notorious atrecent UK concerts. As almost every person lifted their middle finger into the air on command, Reading gave Trump an enthusiastic ‘fuck you’ salute that impressed even us non-political journalists. (Did we join in with this too? Maybe…)

But who can blame us! Eminem inspired his audience to rap, swear and hopefully during a moment of conscientious sobriety, not to drink drive home, with songs that lifted us, enthused us, pulled anger from the depths of every past mistake we were still clinging on to and inspire us to say ‘fuck you world, I am who I say I am!’ His rapping was a mastery of vocal talent throughout but particularly during 7th song ‘Rap God’, raising hearty cheers from those of us that had attempted to keep up, and there wasn’t a single female unaffected by the emotion of ‘Airplanes’ (originally collaborated with Paramore’s Hayley Williams), arms in the air and wishing hard on the laser lights shooting from the stage and into the sky.

Supported by artist and best friend Denaun Porter, the pair were also full of banter and shared jokes that drew the audience into their friendship, razing each other about past experiences and gently competing over whose side of the audience were louder. (It was ours, and we were in Eminem’s camp, just putting that out there.) This naturally lead Eminem into dedicating a ‘romantic as fucking shit song’ to all the ladies, and we weren’t disappointed when the starting chords of ‘Love The Way You Lie’ filled our ears.

Performing a massive set of 33 songs, Eminem’s final two were particularly outstanding. His penultimate ‘I’m Not Afraid’ was dedicated to ‘anybody who’s going through any kind of struggle or adversity.’ And if that struggle was that his set was at a close, we were quickly able to overcome it as Eminem encored to shouts of ‘one more song’, returning to the stage for ‘Lose Yourself’ – which we happilydid.

The band and backing vocalist were spectacular, meeting Eminem’s movementswith near perfection as he kicked and punched his way through his final moments with his fans.Introducing us to eachperformer, heallowed us to see not only their skill, but thatevery memberwas a valued contribution to his set; carefully chosen for the talent they brought to the show.

With every fibre of our being, we sang our hearts out, pumped our fists in the air and rapped every lyric we knew to share the night with Eminem and the people around us. Each person loved him for a different reason, but love him they did, and no one would disagree that the evening was emotional and exceptional. Just for tonight almost the entirety of Reading were united as a single unit, coming together to share in something special.

Set List:

1)Band Intro

2) Square Dance

3) Won’t Back Down

4) 3am

5) Business

6) Kill You

7) White America

8) Mosh

9) Evil Deeds

10) Rap God

11) Soldier

12) Just Don’t Give A Fuck

13) Criminal

14) The way I am

15) Detroit Vs Everybody

16) Fast Lane

17) The Hills (remix)

18) Drop the World

19) Airplanes, Part II

20) Stan

21) Sing For The Moment

22) Like Toy Soldiers

23) Forever

24) Love The Way You Lie

25) Berzerk

26) Till I Collapse

27) Cinderella Man

28) The Monster

29) My Name Is

30) The Real Slim Shady

31) Without Me

32) Not Afraid

33) Encore – Lose Yourself

Reviewed by Becca Walker

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