For a while now I’ve been a really big fan of US rapper/ singer Nicki Minaj. Yesterday my best friend and I waited 13 hours in total with the aim of meeting one of our idol before or after her ‘Pink Friday‘ show. We arrived at the ‘HMV Hammersmith Apollo‘ in London just before midday, and waited 7 hours for the doors to open, running for a place in the 3rd or 4th line when we spotted the venue. When the doors finally opened, there was of course the usual long wait for the support act (new mediocre girlband ‘Stooshe‘), before Nicki herself arrived onstage at around half 9.
As far as sets go, hers was fairly impressive, appearing to the audience like a room in a ‘Barbie‘ house. She had only 3 or 4 costume changes (my fave was the pink hotpants), and she wore a Marilyn Monroe inspired dress and wig for the track of the same name.
Her vocals sounded great as ever, but some of the tracks seemed very disjointed. She was only onstage for about an hour and 20 minutes, and for at least a quarter of that time, fans were left wondering where she’d disappeared to, as studio versions of her tracks were played, and she was nowhere in sight. It seemed odd that she would skip out the majority of verses in her tracks when she could have easily filled the time. She complained at the end though that she wanted to stay longer but would be heavily fined like she was the night previously for overrunning. Mind you, I was happy that she played the majority of my favourite songs (‘Pound The Alarm‘, ‘Whip It’, ‘Automatic,’ ‘Marilyn Monroe‘ etc). Considering that collaborators Drake, Rihanna and Trey Songz are all in London at the moment, it was a shame that none of them were able to join her during the ‘features’ mash-up.
A definite highlight was when she brought die-hard fan ‘@GalacticBarbie‘ onstage to thank her for her support from the beginning, and told the story of when they first met at an airport a few years ago, and how Nicki had spotted the unusual name in her mentions on Twitter. She also invited several other members of the audience (and a rude, drunk man in a denim shirt who pushed his way right to the front row) to sing and dance alongside her for a track. Towards the of the short but sweet show, she sprayed fans with a giant smoke-filled gun, and white ticket tape fell from the ceiling during the encore, ‘Superbass.’
Straight after the show we headed to the barriers next to the venue’s exit, and were pre-warned by security guards that there was a 50/50 chance that she would stop for fans. By 2am, when she and the rest of us left, there can’t have been more than 25 fans left. There I was, camera, Sharpie and album booklet in my hand, and all she did was poke her head out of her silver Mercedes, wave, and let her driver speed her off into the distance. We all legged it after her car but they didn’t stop this time (the night before a boy jumped in front of her car to get her to stop). So close but yet so far! We got up close to her sidekick SB, (“hey yo SB, what the fucks good?!”), and even had our picture taken with ‘Radio 1‘ DJ Tim Westwood (who had his own personal shout-out from Nicki during the show).
Considering the amount of money I parted with for train fares, concert tickets and a hotel, I didn’t think I got my moneys worth out of the experience. The 3 hour wait in the cold after the show and her refusal to speak to fans enraged me for sure. Would I go see her again? Sure, if someone paid for me! I still love her of course but this experience has definitely made me question why celebrities forget who got them famous in the 1st place so fast- but I am determined to get that picture with her one day!