Eminem had big shoes to fill in terms of following up Beyonce’s Coachella set. Fortunately for the man himself and everyone in attendance, Em is a top-notch live performer whose biggest priority is to deliver an energetic show. While many of us were fairly disappointed with his latest album, Revival, there’s no doubt that the track-list comprising last night’s performance was filled with bangers, serving as a reminder to all that the man is still a legend. It was expected for Em to reach into his bag of hits, but bringing out Dr. Dre and 50 Cent to perform all-time classics was nothing short of a powerfully welcome surprise.
According to Billboard, Em started off with The Eminem Show era favorites “Til’ I Collapse,” “Square Dance,” “White America,” and the empowering stadium anthem “Sing for the Moment.” Fortunately, he also made sure to flex a bit with “Rap God,” and then delivering the first live performance of his most recent release, the “Chloraseptic” remix—which in itself is a direct reminder to anyone criticizing the man that he’s still lyrical dexterity personified. “This is the first motherfucking time Eminem is headlining Coachella,” hype-man, producer and D12 member Mr. Porter yelled. If Porter's words are anything to go by, you’d be forgiven to think Em’s camp is actually listening to the fan responses to Revival. “I heard y’all like when Eminem is angry,” Porter yelled to intro the song.
Em and 50’s “Patiently Waiting” is a gem from that era, with one of Em’s best self-produced beats and the duo's increasingly energetic verses making for a perfect track to perform live. 50 delivered Get Rich or Die Tryin’ smash-hit “In Da Club” and and Curtis banger “I Get Money," as well as the 2009 Grammy Award-winner “Crack a Bottle,” before hip-hop legend Dr. Dre took the stage for 2001 gems “Forgot About Dre” and “Still Dre,” a rendition of The Chronic's “Nothing But a G Thang,” and the incredible Compton track “Medicine Man”. Unfortunately, Eminem’s Coachella set was not part of the music festival’s official live stream—but we do have cell phone footage to consume.
While it was odd that Em and Bey didn’t perform the lead single to Revival, “Walk on Water” together, seeing as they were both headliners at the same festival, the focus on more drum-based and confident tracks was likely a smart choice. Having 50 Cent and Dr. Dre in tow reminds of us classic Em, and that’s something a huge portion of his fanbase has been clamoring for. All in all, this was a pretty dope set for a man nearing 50 years of age, and a rapper whose latest effort was almost universally panned. He’s still got it, and apparently, he hears you. Perhaps this coordinated Coachella set is a sign of things to come, by reminding us of where it all began.