People Watching At The Eminem Concert
What do I know about Eminem and Rihanna? Not much, really … so little that I am having a hard time starting this post. Why did I go to the Monster Tour at MetLife Stadium? Music has become somewhat of a new subject for me to study and my college friend, Michelle, invited me (or I invited myself) to attend the show along with her two daughters, Amanda and Maggie. Sure, like the music I hear on the radio just fine but would never listen to their entire albums. As I have written in the past (Jay-Z review), Rap (Hip-hop) is not my thing and there is other music I prefer to Rihanna.
Attended the show because I was curious about the crowd. Remember how Jay-Z brought down the house at Yankee Stadium last summer and wanted that experience again. Thought there would be a strong urban mix of all ages in the stands but it was much younger than I expected – a very white, pot smoking and drinking group is typical of concerts but because the demographics was much more prevalent than others I have attended.
It’s not that I don’t like the show but I’m having more fun watching the crowd’s reaction to the entertainers than the entertainers themselves. After all, Rihanna isn’t really the most engaging artist on stage. Her hair (extensions) is way too long and seems to be getting in her way. She has no dancing skills other than opening and closing her legs every so often and patting her genital area. When Ree could be dancing she just stands in place, really doesn’t reach out to the audience and when she does it’s probably because she thinks she should (“hey New Jersey, Tri-state area” – thanks for reminding us where we are).
Eminem is not very different than Rihanna. I can’t understand a word he is saying but I like watching him – his free arm moving as quickly as his lips (unless he’s touching his genital area). He too, reaches out to the stands with how you doing ‘motherfucking’ New Jersey? And that is about it. As I am sitting there I wonder if they both have social awkwardness like shyness or maybe they’re introverts. (Iman does a great job in his review addressing this so I’m not going to try.) He dresses in all black including his baseball cap and I wonder why he does a wardrobe change into camouflage shorts and a grey hoodie and then a tank top. Assume it has everything to do with getting sweaty rather than trying to make any type of fashion statement.
There is a group of nicely dressed, clean-cut boys in front of us who interlock their arms for Rihanna’s Stay. Just seems weird to me. Are they on drugs? Or are they good friends home for summer break? Maybe one of them has had a recent break-up and they are offering moral support. It just seems odd to me that men (boys), as a group, would show this display of affection for a song more for females. They invite random woman to join them, me included (no, thanks. I am happy being antisocial in my safe space). Become confused as a very young Asian woman (maybe 16) takes residency in the last seat of their row and begins making out with one of the boys. Is there some type of love drug they have all taken?
Then there is an Eminem wannabe in a guinea tee (a.k.a. wife beater tank), sunglass wearing tattooed man (probably a very nice guy) who moves down the row where there are three empty seats (in front of me). Quickly realize he has relocated because one seat is not enough for his violently flailing arms. I sit back in my chair a bit to avoid any contact. Except there is a pelvic thrusting man behind me so I’m not sure what is safer – getting hit in the head with a pelvic thrust or moving forward into a flailing arm. How can I watch the concert when there is so much activity? Eminem said at the start of the concert, East coast look at this stage. There is a lot of fucking room for activity! Well, Mr. Mathers, there is a whole lotta fucking activity in the nosebleed section!
Just when I have maneuvered myself safely in my column the Eminem wannabe came to sit next to me. I did not take the love drug! I am not interested in joining in! I am antisocial! Tired from a long family vacation! Don’t feel sorry for me. I am enjoying you at a distance. Thankfully he disappeared after a couple songs but the show isn’t over. Another young lady appears and joins the row in front of me with the young boys row (feeling a bit voyeuristic as I write) and taps one of the fellows. I’m pretty sure she took the love drug (or I’m looking for love drug) but he shoos her away and she tries another group of men until she returns unsuccessfully to her friends. What the heck is going on?
Finally decide to shift my attention back to the show and to my friends who probably think I am the lamest concertgoer. Michelle and her daughters are having a great time and I come to realize Michelle is just as much an Eminem fan as her daughter Amanda. Start to wonder if Amanda actually accompanied her mom. Enjoy the last five songs: Diamonds (Rihanna’s best performance of the night but my least favorite of her songs), We Found Love, Lose Yourself (song that pulls me through the hardest of workouts) and Monster.
Have to say, I was a bit uncomfortable at this show and am the furthest thing from a prude (nor was I innocent when I was younger) but I can be somewhat conservative as I ahem mature or maybe it has more to do with having little girls. Troubled me seeing young woman drunk or on drugs walking by themselves or throwing themselves at men (boys). Where are their friends?
I am reminded of the first concert I went to as a young girl – a Rap fest of some sort in 1985ish with Run DMC, LL Cool J, Doug E Fresh, Lisa Lisa and others in Providence, Rhode Island. I was probably eighteen years old at a very urban concert. Not sure if my mother knew attended – guess not. Yes, I smoked pot, maybe I drank a little but I was with my friends at all times. Remember being uncomfortable then too.
It was a great show and had I not just returned from vacation that morning I’m sure I would have been energized. Got what I came for – I was curious about the crowd. On the way home we talked about how cool it would be to see Eminem in Detroit. Think Michelle may have contemplated it for a minute.