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Eminem Celebrates Recovery With Special Guests, Fans at Lollapalooza

Dave Mead/Lollapalooza

Since it’s transformation from a touring festival to a weekend concert event, Lollapalooza has hosted some of the biggest names in music. This year alone brought Coldplay, Muse, Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket and more. However, no artist in Lollapalooza history has drawn a bigger turnout than Detroit hip-hop star Eminem.

The immense size of the audience did not go unnoticed by Marshall Mathers and his hypeman, Mr. Porter.

“Holy s___, there is a lotta people here,” exclaimed the rapper. The 60,000 plus crowd roared in approval.

Eminem started his set with “Won’t Back Down”, off of his most recent album The Recovery, which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. That is rare feat in today’s music industry. Fans were eating it up and the MC knew he had the crowd in the palm of his hand for the next 90 minutes.

The heavy-in-hits setlist included “Without Me”, “My Name Is”, “The Real Slim Shady”, “Stan” and a ton more.

“Yo Chicago, how many people ever had beef with their parents?” asked Slim. He then proceeded to perform “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”, from his diamond-selling 2002 album The Eminem Show. As much as Friday Lolla headliner Coldplay had the crowd singing along with them, Eminem fans turned into lyricists for the night, singing at the top of their lungs to tracks like “Kill You”, which abruptly ended with a figurative shotgun blast.

Lollapalooza is known for its fair share of special guest appearances and one of the rumors was that Eminem mentor Dr. Dre would join his protege on stage. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen but Em welcomed his Bad Meets Evil partner-in-crime Royce da 5’9″ to perform a couple of cuts from their recently released EP, Hell: The Sequel. The duo traded verses back and forth on “Fast Lane” and then went on to “Lighters”, with an unannounced Bruno Mars lending a hand on the chorus. The R&B crooner was wearing his trademark fedora hat and strumming on an acoustic guitar. The crowd busted out lighters, cell phones and anything else that could give off light.

Slim didn’t forget about his guest verses on other artists’ hits. A backup singer started singing the chorus to B.o.B’s “Airplanes”, originally done by Hayley Williams of Paramore, and Eminem recited his lines from “Airplanes Pt II”. Whether it was planned or by pure coincidence, a plane fittingly flew over the Music Unlimited stage. The Detroit MC also spit his verse from Drake’s smash “Forever”.

Marshall Mathers paid tribute to the late hip-hop hook king, Nate Dogg, playing his parts from “The Next Episode”, “Area Codes” and finally getting into his own Nate Dogg collaboration “‘Till I Collapse”.

After a brief break, Eminem went back out to close the show with a blistering performance of “Lose Yourself”, the stand-up anthem from the 8 Mile soundtrack.

As with Coldplay, this was Eminem’s Lollapalooza debut and he did not disappoint. Watch his performance of “Love The Way You Lie” below. Too bad Rihanna wasn’t another guest star. I would have probably screamed in a higher pitch than all the girls who were crying out to Em.

Follow Dave Kim on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

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