Nicki Minaj the Barbie leader rapped her bountiful booty off on in an inaugural 70 minute show in Brisbane, Australia 19 May for her Pink Friday Tour.
Queen Barbie kicked off her Pink Friday Tour with a couple of US shows before hightailing it out here to Australia – and you know, I wasn’t going to miss her when she came to town. For those Barbz (def. Nicki Minaj’s fan base derived from the word Barbie) who missed out, prospective ticket buyers for future shows, or those who just want to know how she performed – read on for my blow-by-blow review.
Friday I saw Prince, Saturday I saw Nicki Minaj. They have at least one thing in common with each other – eccentricity.
I have been quite open about my dislike for Nicki Minaj of late particularly on my video review of “Stupid Hoe.” I am glad to admit – that seeing Nicki in concert made me change my mind…
Onika tweeted how much she loved Brisbane and Australia:
Brisbane, u were amazing and full of life. I can’t thank u enough for tonight. Muuuuaaaahhhhh!!!!!! Can’t believe its time 2 leave australia
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) May 19, 2012
I couldn’t go to a Nicki Minaj concert without looking the part now could I? My girl Miss E and I were hell-bent on having a fun time and looking Barbalicious. First costume piece that came to my mind – a signature coloured wig. I picked up a royal blue blunt fringe/bang cut Katy Perry wig.
Now avid “I’m Just Saying” readers know, I own Nicki Minaj’s signature M.A.C Viva Glam bright pink lipstick – so a swipe of that was a must.
Glued on some Katy Perry (I know, weird right?) fake lashes for that extra Nicki look with winged liner, Essie Fiji on the tips, popped on some pink blush and boom! Barbie-fication was complete.
Had to pull a Nicki face!
The audience was filled with Barbz, coloured wigs and outlandish outfits.The crowd ranged from children and teens accompanied by parents to young women and men in their 20s and 30s.
The show was an intimate one with only the lower sections of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre being up for sale. I had a standing ticket by the stage.
*RANT ALERT* When Miss E and I filed into the section the security oddly made us all sit on the floor – I have never seen this practice and I still do not understand why we were required to do this.
When the lights dimmed and the support act Australian R&B/pop artist Stan Walker took the stage, people leapt from their seated positions and rushed the stage nearly crushing me underneath. Fortunately, Miss E leant a hand and pulled me up. Talk about a stupid and extremely unsafe request. There was plenty of space all the way back into the standing section, why we weren’t allowed to fill the space naturally I do not know.
The crowd were very lively and responsive throughout the show and it was great to see so many stans/Barbz out to support their leader.
They knew all the words to the tracks of her largely Roman Reloaded dominated performance. Pretty damn good considering Roman Reloaded has only been out for six weeks – the Barbz went hard!
Stage set up
The stage sets were reflective of Nicki Minaj’s unique girly style – bright, colourful and strobe lighting. An elevated staircase was positioned in the centre of the stage with her DJ set up on the side. Six super hot male and six female backup dancers accompanied Nicki throughout the show.
Laurieanne Gibson the creative director and choreographer for The Pink Friday Tour speaks on the development of the stage show:
“Nicki Minaj was so much fun for me, and it was like a real breath of fresh air, and musically, to get back to the rap game, to see a female MC dominate the pop charts…I love [when] I heard Roman Reloaded. I loved her delivery. I love the way she flows. So the Pink Friday Tour is really good and it’s kind of like a glimpse back to what a real rap show is. It’s intimate but big at the same time.” -MTV News
My sentiments exactly Laurieanne, although the show venue was intimate and smaller it didn’t detract from the magnitude of her performance.
Minaj opened her set with “Roman’s Revenge” in a black hooded robe with a church backdrop illuminated on the screens.
The robe drops and we see her quirky outfit and curvy frame squeezed into bright green tights, pink studded high-waisted hot pants, and a fluro green studded long sleeve top.
The set included the following tracks:
- “Did It On Em”
- “Stupid Hoe”
- “Dance (Ass)” ft. Big Sean
- “Beez In The Trap”
- “I Am Your Leader”
- “Right By My Side”
- “Moment 4 Life”
Post the Drake collabo there was a costume change with DJ Diamond Kuts spinning a few of the below tracks sans Minaj. She returned in a brightly coloured tutu and corset top.
- “My Chick Bad”
- “Whip It”
- “Pound The Alarm”
Again, Nicki left the stage and returned in a pink flowing dress with a pink corset. She hyped the crowd with an extinguisher gun – the crowd roared.
The set continued with:
- “Fire Burns”
- “Save Me”
- “Marilyn Monroe”
- “Itty Bitty Piggy”
The show finished with:
- “Where Them Girls At” ft. David Guetta
- “Super Bass”
One of the highlights of the show for me was the audience participation – where approximately six Barbz were invited up onto the stage to rap a Nicki verse word for word. She emphasized they had to know the words, and boy did they ever!
A bloke from Bardon spat “Roman’s Revenge” with perfection along with a girl who recounted “Super Bass” flawlessly. If there was ever a question that her Brisbane fans weren’t fully dedicated to her music, this display knocked that doubt right out the park.
There was no encore – however there wasn’t a need for one. She managed to squeeze in her ‘hit’ tracks into the seventy minute performance. Given the audience composition and their mild response to “Itty Bitty Piggy” from the Beam Me Up Scotty mixtape my favourite track by Minaj - her rap mixtape tracks would have been lost on the audience who seemed to be fans of Nicki’s later work.
Reviews of Nicki Minaj’s performance in Brisbane were mixed. Rave Magazine and The Music spoke generally positively of her show – Rave praising her fan interaction:
“She’s generous and indulgent with these fans to a surprising degree; she seems to genuinely enjoy hanging out with them. I think I like this Nicki most of all.”
Brisbane Times and the Idolator were pretty damning of Minaj - Idolator claiming she mimed tracks (in the Sydney show), and Brisbane Times headline reading ‘She came, she rapped, but Nicki did not conquer’ giving the show a poor 2.5 out of 5 star rating.
The BT reviewer Jabour stated that the audience participatory performance outshone Minaj’s whole show:
‘The crowd went wild and nothing Nicki did in her show topped the surprise of his talent’ and ‘her fans were more than ready for the show to be finished.’
An outrageous claim in my opinion. Better yet – why don’t we let Onika reply?…
Nicki Minaj slayed and to say that a fan’s rendition of her song was better than her entire show is frankly bull.
Jabour said she didn’t like the profanities – is that not what is to be expected at a rap show?
Had she never listened to Minaj’s material before coming to the gig? This was not a Taylor Swift concert! Perhaps she should have been sent along to review the profanity free Backstreet Boys and NKOTB show at the Entertainment Centre the following week. Take several seats Jabour.
As far as Idolator’s claims about miming, I didn’t see any in Brisbane at all – and I’ve been to enough gigs in my life to detect it.
Let me share my motivating factor to me going along. I bought a ticket to the Pink Friday Tour in the hope Onika could re-ignite my love for her as an artist given her last few releases of ‘what in world?!’ tracks and videos namely “Roman in Moscow” and “Stupid Hoe”- which left me pissed off, confused and downright bitter.
I did not attend the gig as a delusional stan.
Minaj’s performance left me:
- thoroughly impressed;
- reminded me of why I liked her as an artist in the first place;
- and sold her new album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded as a clever, solid LP that slays on her previous Pink Friday an album Nicki claims she made for her critics.
The show was high energy from start to finish. My girl Miss E was thoroughly enjoying herself jumping and down and belting out lyrics even with a bad knee. It was hella fun and entertaining.
Queen Barb danced and sung ballads (let’s not start with the Bey comparisons please), engaged the crowd and truly demonstrated how grateful she was to her fan base.
Minaj acknowledged all of her Barbz seated at the back of the audience ensuring the crowd that she appreciated us all equally. It was a nice touch.
The costumes and bright colours on the stage were signature Nicki and it was evident more than ever that she majored in visual, performing arts and drama.
Yes, she has changed her formula from hardcore rapper to a blended hiphop/pop dance hybrid artist. But as much as it makes me uncomfortable that she isn’t ‘boxable’ into one musical genre, she crosses over very successfully and it’s clever – it broadens her audience appeal.
It may be easy for people to pass judgement on Nicki as a gimmick – but on Saturday 19th May she proved to her haters why she’s still relevant today.
If you’re interested in seeing Nicki on the Pink Friday Tour – check out my post for dates to see if she’s coming to your city.
Peep some photos and video of the Pink Friday Tour below: