Eminem can’t even sell a Cape Town concert ticket without causing some controversy. To be fair, the R99 (‘worth’ R500) tickets followed by the ‘two-for-one’ special is solely on the promoter not the Detroit rapper. We took advantage of the offer and sat back as the last minute-inflated Gumtree sellers ran a loss of epic proportions.
We took our time getting to the stadium sadly missing South Africa’s own white rapper Jack Parow (but I heard we didn’t miss much), who was the first opening act. The stadium was oddly empty, especially the golden circle and general standing areas that usually have fans camping out early to get a good spot.
The second opening act, a humongous ginger man by the name of Action Bronson in a Springbok jersey was an import all the way from Queens, New York. With his long, unkempt beard, he looked like he would be perfectly comfortable drinking Castle while burning the tjops at a braai. I couldn’t make out half the shit he was saying but there was one standout phrase that became our mantra for the evening. He had a bit where he rapped over classic songs. In response to the Phil Collins lyric “She calls out to the man on the street/ ‘Sir, can you help me?/ it’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep/ Is there somewhere you can tell me?’” from Another Day In Paradise, he barked: “No motherfucker, I will NOT help you!”
The speed that the golden circle and general standing areas filled up when Eminem took to the stage was very impressive. Eminem was not very chatty, leaving most the talking to his hypeman, pouring all his energy into the performance. I would have been satisfied just hearing The Way I Am, which was way more intense than the recording could ever be.
The camera was zoomed in close enough to see Eminem’s spit flying when he speed-rapped through Rap God. Thanks to the excellent camerawork, even those in the excessively cheap seats could feel some connection.
Just a warning to those going to the Jozi show, the outro after the Lose Yourself encore is excessively long, so don’t get too excited – it’s not another song.
The only really disappointing thing at the show was the people-watching; it was not nearly as funny as I thought it would be. I only spotted one freshly peroxided head (but oh, it was magnificent) and there was a dad with a small child who wore a ‘Stan’ shirt. White boys trying to look gangster was kept to the minimum.
As an I-only-like-his-old-stuff fan, the performance was well worth the R99… I might even put that up to R200.