Live at Leeds Festival 2001 on Friday, 24th August 2001
The eagerly and long-awaited appearance of Eminem - exactly a year late in fact - rounding off Friday night on the main stage in Leeds, was a show of two halves - neatly mirroring those two much-debated characters. First up, Marshall Mathers dressed in grey and white, then after a South Park cartoon 'The Slim Shady Show' we get a red and black clad Slim Shady himself. This was a stripped down show all in all. Out had gone the chainsaw, (the City Fathers of Leeds put paid to that allegedly), mask, simulated executions in electric chairs and Ecstasy-popping. What we did get was a bloke dressed up as an E for encore 'Purple Hills' and two inflatable hands showing the "Twinkie finger".
Backstage beforehand there was a real buzz; a palpable sense of anticipation and a weird feeling that there was one of the most (in)famous people on the planet somewhere near. Out front right from the start, a far from rabid crowd dutifully bobbed up and down in all the right places - seemingly either overawed or underwhelmed after all the hype. Once into the swing of things, the like of 'Stan' and 'The Way I Am' sure did the trick. Despite the back to basics approach by our man from Detroit, and the lack cartoonish theatricals, a lot of happy campers headed back to their tents safe in the knowledge they'd seen Eminem in the flesh - but was it the REAL Slim Shady or was it Marshall Mathers...?!