This weekend Nicki Minaj brought the Pinkprint Tour to Newcastle Metro Radio Arena in the penultimate leg of the show, and as expected, it was a celebration of spectacular magnificence.
The show began on a somber yet powerful note, setting the scene the 32 year old emerged from the fog clad in a funeral-esque ensemble (complete with veil) to the slow beat of All Things Go and I Lied. Though this hush was short lived and the tempo quickly began to escalate with The Crying Game, paving the way for a show that would only continue to up the ante barely pausing to breathe.
From there Nicki commanded a fearsome presence during her hip-hop classics, with the crowd reveling in the expert delivery of her razor sharp lyrics and undeniably catchy hooks. Often times hip hop artists fail to deliver the high intensity of their songs on a stage. Kendrick Lamar, for one, as brilliant a lyricist as he is often struggles to keep his own flow on stage, and he is far from the only one guilty of this. Not only did Nicki achieve the level of quality present on her albums but she went above and beyond making phenomenal use of the huge LCD display and her troupe of incredibly talented back-up dancers.
As the show continued with Top Ten hit Anaconda and several costume changes, the crowd was almost at fever pitch before being brought down again by Marilyn Monroe and Grand Piano. This second set of acoustic songs, performed in beautiful succession and accompanied by the magical piano playing of her band, helped to create a wonderful feeling of intimacy even inside the almost fully booked stadium of 11,000 people.
This momentary slowing of the tempo quickly transformed into what most of the crowd was there to see, a complete run down of all her pop hits in quick succession, from Superbass to The Night is Still Young. ‘If you can dream it you can be it, don’t let any man tell you what you can’t do’ the artist told the crowd before launching into a spectacular final performance of Starships, in an atmosphere that was more similar to what you’d expect to find in the dance tent of your favourite festival than a hip-hop/pop show in the North-East of England.
When considering just how intense the show was it’s also important to note that not one month earlier a member of Nicki’s road crew was murdered in Philadelphia, almost leading to a cancellation of the tour.
Going to a Nicki Minaj concert comes with certain preconceptions, chart music is all garbage (half truth), women can’t rap (lie), pop shows are a waste of money (another lie). If any one of those 11,000 people had similar thoughts to these before attending they would have almost certainly been dashed to bits by what a truly wonderful performance this was to experience.