February 22, ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park
Eminem during his Melbourne concert. Photo: Jeremy Deputat
Seeing Eminem perform in 2014, it seems absurd that it was 15 years ago this weekend that he released the debut album (The Slim Shady LP) that would set him on a trajectory to becoming arguably the world's most popular MC.
Not only does the Detroit rapper seem to have barely aged in that time, despite long periods between his recent albums he has managed to stay relevant – conquering pop charts, maintaining the respect of his peers and filling stadiums – and assuredly proves how.
Even next to hip-hop's newer and more exciting stars – such as the main support act on this tour, the electrifying Kendrick Lamar – Eminem shows he is still a master entertainer.
Sure, the blistering pace of his set comes at the sometimes frustrating price of compressing too many of his jams into a handful of verses here, or a medley there, but it also shows how much good ground he has to cover.
Unselfishly, there is only a handful of well-chosen songs from his latest album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, such as Berzerk, with its old-school rap-rock crunch, and Rap God, which shows his rhyming has lost none of its breakneck pace or dexterity.
Elsewhere it's a dizzying career retrospective that takes in everything from the drug-addled wit and anarchy of The Slim Shady LP, to the sober musings of 2010's Recovery, via a couple of songs from his Bad Meets Evil project, complete with an appearance from collaborator Royce da 5'9”.
Perhaps best of all, Eminem performs everything alongside a full band that marries the live power of shredding guitars and crashing drums to the old-school scratching of a DJ.
A special mention, too, must go to the backing singer, who impressively fills in for absent friends including Pink (on Won't Back Down), Dido (on the still-heartbreaking Stan) and Rihanna (on Love the Way You Lie and a pulverising The Monster).
Add a last rush as everyone, well, loses themselves to Lose Yourself and you have about as good a stadium hip-hop experience as you could hope for.