Rap stars Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Drake and more were on hand as surprise guests at last night’s Jay-Z and Eminem Comerica Park Detroit concert.
Leading off for Eminem, Jay brought out a number of guests which included longtime friend Memphis Bleek and former Def Jam labelmate Young Jeezy.
It’s a motif the New York visitor returned to often, as he did his part to get the stadium shows off on a good foot with an energetic, aggressive and loud 80-plus minutes, during which he and his band throwed through more than 30 songs — all without making the set feel crammed or rushed. Dressed all in black (of course) and sporting sunglasses (of course), Jay-Z came out swinging hard with an opening salvo of “Dynasty,” “Run This Town,” “Free Mason,” “On to the Next One” and “D.O.A.,” prowling the front of the centerfield stage as a large oval screen mixed live close-ups with video images. Perhaps deferring to the hometown headliner — though he never mentioned Eminem by name during his set — Jay-Z went light on guests in Detroit but did bring out Jeezy for a four-song mini-set, while Memphis Bleek joined in as hype man for two-thirds of the show, starting with “Take Over” and “You Don’t Know,” and had the crowd twirling T-shirts during “Big Pimpin’.” (Billboard)
After Jay, Em ignited his hometown with surprise appearances.
The majority of the guests came out during Eminem’s 100-minute headlining set, which followed Jay-Z’s meaty opening performance. Before long, the cameos were piling up like the junker cars that lined Em’s set: Drake joined him for “Forever,” returning a favor for when Em appeared at the Toronto rapper’s hometown performance earlier this summer; 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks came on for mini-set of 50 Cent songs, including “Patiently Waiting” and “In Da Club.” (Detroit News)
Most unexpected, Em was able to pull out Dr. Dre to perform for the crowd.
After his name appeared on the Comerica big screen, the man heralded by many as the greatest producer of his time came out to the opening notes of his world-famous “Next Episode.” Then the familiar first keys of “Still Dre” were played. “Haters say Dre fell off,” the Doc rapped. “How n—a? My last album was The Chronic.” After that, the Shady/Aftermath duo took it back to Dre’s Chronic days with “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang.” “One, two, three and to the fo,” Em rapped in Snoop‘s cadence. “‘Cause you know we came to rip sh– up!” Dre spit later. Dr. Dre appeared to be in the best shape of his life. Wearing a T-shirt with the late Proof‘s face printed on it. (MTV)
Recently, one of the show’s producer, Marcy Szabo, hit up SOHH to give us the behind-the-scenes experience of working on a mega star concert series.
“The work is exciting but it is very, very stressful. And no matter what job you do, a show on this level, doing these kinds of shows, you hit the ground running. From Friday, when we start taking orders, setting all the rooms up all the way until that show happens and then loads out. Once the show happens, there’s this essential calm that let’s you know there’s still work to do and a couple days that we’ll still be there, after the show happens. This Eminem and Jay-Z show has been in progress for a year. The planning and the pre-planning and the meetings and so, the average concert goer buys their ticket but there are so many people and work needed to pull this stuff off so that everyone can have a good time.” (SOHH Guest Star)
Check out footage from the concert below: