Concert Sutra & Much Needed “Anger Management”
Written by terri sapp
Photographed by terri sapp (from the Pit)
© Concert Sutra, All rights reserved
After I almost beat a bitch down in the vast crowd of a free concert in Downtown Atlanta last month, I decided I needed some quality Anger Management! This year’s Anger Management Tour proved, once again, to be one of the most finely orchestrated tours to come around. From the set construction and design to the line up and performances, the Anger Management Tour, 2005 rivals any tour I have been to in the past ten years. Of course, most of that is due to the brilliance of Marshall Mathers a.k.a. Eminem a.k.a. Slim Shady. This year he, along with D12, teamed up with 50 Cent and the G Unit, and Lil’ Jon and the East Side Boyz, among many other guest artists.
I caught the show on July 31, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre toward the end of the U.S. leg of the tour. Lil’ Jon and the East Side Boyz, Atlanta native, had the job of getting the crowd crunked up. He even sported the “P. Diddy style” shirt that read “Crunk or Die!” The East Side Boyz carried around gas cans full of Crunk Juice that they poured into fans’ cups in the crowd. The stage work set the night off well, with a huge likeness of Lil’ Jon with a big hand sticking out that moved up and down. I wasn’t sure what I would think of the Lil’ Jon show, since I have always been pretty much annoyed by his presence, much less his music. However, I was pleasantly surprised that his portion of the show was actually quite enjoyable. Out of nowhere Ice Cube even joined Lil’ Jon for a song during his set. Everyone loved it! Luckily, he saved the “WHAAAT? WHAAAT? YEEEEAAAAH! OOOOHKAAAAY!” for the very end.
Second up was 50 Cent, the G-Unit, and the rest if their crew. This was my first live encounter with 50 Cent, and it was everything I thought it would be and more. He brought not only his chest to gaze at, but also an amazing stage set. There was a busted up bridge with the head of the Statue of Liberty crashed down on it. The most haunting visual was the look on Lady Liberty’s face, and the lights shining from her eyes. During the course of his set, we shared such favorites as “What Up Gangsta?,” “I’m Supposed to Die Tonight,” “Heat,” “Magic Stick,” “Candy Shop” (featuring Olivia), “Just a Little Bit,” “P.I.M.P.,” “In da Club,” “Wangsta,” and “21 Questions.” 50 Cent even had outfit changes that kept the girls drooling, including a black leather bullet proof vest, all white suit for “P.I.M.P.,” a green camouflage bullet proof vest, and just plain SIX PACK CHEST (my favorite of all of his looks)! Also part of his set were fellow rappers Tony Yayo, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, M.O.P., Mobb Deep, and Olivia. Between all the gorgeous boys and all the pyro, 50 Cent/G-Unit’s portion of the show was HOT!
Headlining the night was the father of the Tour, Eminem. As always, he had his way with his fans and by the end of his show, everyone was satisfied. Marshall Mathers is so dramatic; he even incorporated skits throughout his performance. Before he even took that stage, he set us up with a video of him being harassed to come out, as he seemed to be struggling from backstage. When he comes out wearing a suit, on “Evil Deeds,” the stage is revealed as a series of doors, three stories high that he uses to go in and out and also to set up different skits as well. George W. Bush came out of one of the doors and made an appearance during “Mosh”! It was so nice of him to show up in support of Em’s tour! I love Eminem’s sense of humor. He makes me laugh. “Business” is a great example of why Dr. Dre and Eminem make such a great team! Their beats are top notch, as well as the high quality rhymes.
Eminem also addressed the rumors that he is retiring from the business by telling a story about the tabloids reporting that the moon was to explode in 6 months. “They just lied…” To this, he pulled his pants down (right in front of me) and mooned the crowd! His ass is so pretty…like a baby’s bottom! I wanted to spank him for being so naughty! I digress. “Rain man” was to be his new name in the event that he does ever retire. What a kidder. Appropriately enough, he then played “Ass like that,” and, Eminem, “I ain’t never seen a ass like that” and if I had a pee-pee, it woulda been going “ya doing doing doing!” He is also great about tying one joke to the next. At the end of “Ass Like That,” he made a comment about Mariah Carey, and then cut to a clip of her new hit, “We Belong Together.” Then, from one of the third story doors came a toilet that he ran up to and ended up puking in as an intro into my favorite song on his newest album (not about Mariah), “Puke.” “You don’t know how sick you make me. You make me fucking sick to my stomach. Every time I think of you I puke!”
Of course, I wouldn’t be satisfied at an Eminem concert without my all time favorite from the Marshall Mathers LP, “Kill You.” I find it therapeutic to hear someone outside of my brain expressing feelings that I possess, but keep in for the most part. I guess that is why this is called the Anger Management Tour. On the contrary, “Like Toy Soldiers” speaks to Eminem NOT wanting people to die. I suppose it depends on who the victim is set to be. “Like Toy Soldiers” is one of those deeply emotional slow songs that Em has a knack for.
Apparently, Eminem felt the need to test Atlanta on their Hip Hop knowledge, popping off his renditions of classics like “La Di Da Di,” “Just a Friend,” and (my ring tone) “Nuthin But a G Thang.” Once he completed his pop quiz, he decided to tease us with about 15 seconds of “Hi, My Name Is.” Then, Proof, Kon Artis, Kuniva, and Swift of D12 joined him for a few D12 favorites like “Git Up,” and “How Come.” Eminem noted, “Speaking of “How Come,” how come Bizarre’s fat ass isn’t on the stage?” As usual, they turned even this into a bit; with Bizarre saying he was waiting on all the rest of them to leave the stage, because he is a “Rockstar.” Bizarre then performed his new single, “Rockstar.” D12 all came together for a “40 Oz.” The best D12 song of the night was by far “My Band.” The guys all really got into acting it out, and seriously mimicked a boy band dancing in formation at the end during the singing breakdown (which broke into a bit of “Wild Thang”). Watching these guys is like getting an Eminem/D12 video in person.
“Stan” is always a welcome performance from E, with everyone lighting up their cell phones and lighters. “The Way I Am” was a perfect follow up, while the vibe was a bit mellow. To kick it up a notch, an old favorite, “I Just Don’t Give a Fuck.” And when we thought it couldn’t get any better, 50 Cent joins the crew onstage for a couple of songs, like “Patiently Waiting.” 50 Cent and Eminem together on one stage was more SEXY than I could handle…I wanted to look away to avoid the drool, but was physically unable to unfix my gaze.
One of the native ATLians on this lineup, Stat Quo, was given a bit of time to showcase numbers from his upcoming debut album, “Statlanta.” Stat Quo and Alchemist (DJ), were both affected by the bus crash that this tour suffered less than a couple weeks before this particular event. Stat Quo was able to come out and demonstrate that these unfortunate events did not keep the show from going on! Another noteworthy guest rapper was Obie Trice, who has been known to show up on some truly hot Eminem cuts, such as “Spend Some Time,” and “Drips.” We didn’t get either of those, but were lucky enough for “Cleaning Out My Closet,” and “Mockingbird.”
One of the highlights of the night was definitely Eminem’s public apology to Michael Jackson, wherein he climbed the stairs to one of the higher levels in front of the doors (put a mask on), and proceeded to introduce his new baby, Biscuit (along with Quilty, Handkerchief, Pillowcase, and Tampon), to the crowd. He ended up throwing them all out into the screaming fans with anti-Michael slurs written on them, like “don’t touch me.” Just after a big “Psyche!” “Just Lose It” fills the air. This song cracks me up, “Now, I’m gonna make you dance. It’s your chance. Yeah, boy, shake that ass! Oops, I mean girl, girl, girl, girl. Girl, you know you’re my world!”
At curfew (11:00 p.m. at Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre), Eminem wasn’t finished with his Rap Opera, so he kept going, with an end video where he shot himself with a toy gun. He made us work for another song! As an encore, he broke out his Academy Award winning “Lose Yourself” from the 8 Mile Soundtrack. He has such passion that spreads to all in his presence. What a creatively genius mind…a visionary of my generation…a true raw talent with a style (nasty mind, filthy mouth, and murderous thoughts included) all his own.
To check out the photos I was able to grab from the Pit, go to Leah Yetter’s site, where she has a photo gallery set up for me at: http://www.leahyetter.com/eminem0805/. To find out more about the artists on the Anger Management Tour 2005, you have several website choices to visit, including http://www.eminem.com/, http://www.d12online.com/, http://www.d12world.com/, http://www.g-unitsoldier.com/, http://www.50cent.com/, or http://www.liljononline.com/. Even though members of the crew were able to go on and perform after their accident, Em apparently had too much fun with the Vicodin he was getting off of the guys who got hurt (he admitted and joked on himself during our show about this…a cry for help?) and has had to cancel the last bit of the Anger Management Tour. Too bad, because the ones that got cancelled really missed out on something special in this time of generic festival after generic festival…these guys brought a SHOW, fo’ rizzle! Although there are no shows to see Eminem perform in right now (rehab…sounds like a potential future hit!), try not to miss any eventual opportunity.