PASADENA Monsters go bump in the night and on Thursday, fans of Rihanna and Eminem roared loudly for the two's local tour stop.
From flashy dancers to Eminem's hype man Mr. Porter, a theatrical movie trailer and fireworks, the hip-hop duo pulled out all the stops for their first sold-out concert at the Rose Bowl. The show was a prequel to tonight's performance at the stadium, all part of Rihanna and Eminem's two-day Monster Tour show in the Los Angeles area.
But even with all the colorful lights and fanfare, Eminem and Rihanna's concert focused more on the music than anything else.
“It was just amazing. Just wow,” said Adalberto Perez, 20, of Union City, sporting an Eminem shirt outside of the Rose Bowl after the concert.
The duo opened with their 2010 track “Numb,” both appearing on the massive stage recently graced by hip-hop power couple Jay Z and Beyoncé last weekend, and appropriately wrapped up the night with an encore performance of “The Monster.”
During the nearly three-hour show, the two superstars stayed true to their specialties — Eminem stuck to his explicit, controversial work, while Rihanna performed her radio smashes one after the other. The two wove their hits like Rihanna's dance track, “Where Have You Been,” Eminem's song “Not Afraid,” Rihanna's mid-tempo “Diamonds” and even Eminem's somber number (originally featuring Dido), “Stan.”
Some minor glitches appeared when the live band's sound for “Stay” sounded off and Eminem kept saying various forms of “What's up California” throughout the night, but it was clear he was excited to perform.
The crowd's energy noticeably slowed, however, for Rihanna's “Rockstar 101” after she performed the hook to Kanye West's “All of the Lights.” Even when Eminem performed “3 a.m.,” a track his comeback album “Relapse,” the crowd seemed a bit let down — particularly after hearing the duo's mega hit “Love The Way You Lie.”
Before the show, many attendees said they were looking forward to Eminem.
“I'm his biggest fan ever,” said 16-year-old Dianna Cardenas of Sun Valley.
Cardenas said she enjoyed how Eminem's subject matter wasn't about meaningless subjects or just drugs, but instead “teaches you something in a way.”
At the end of the night, Eminem called on the crowd to turn it up.
“California, make some (expletive) noise for Rihanna y'all,” he said.
After a roar from the stadium, Rihanna responded: “Cali, thank you so much” and then pointed to Eminem, whom she called “Slim Shady.” The two hugged and put away their monsters — at least for one night.
The duo are slated for one more show at the Rose Bowl tonight before taking the Monster Tour to New York's MetLife Stadium on Aug. 16.