The video game industry to the rescue: Scenes from Monday night's Eminem, Jay-Z bash
Thanks to the mega-huge Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, some top-shelf musical icons visited Los Angeles this week as part of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Early on Monday, the two living Beatles, Ringo Starr and Coachella savior Paul McCartney, made a quick appearance to remind everyone that there would be a fab four Rock Band title. In the evening, Activision celebrated its new entry to the Guitar Hero franchise with a concert at the Wiltern. DJ AM and Travis Barker opened for Jay-Z, who himself set the stage for Eminem.
Whereas the Beatles event was little more than a press conference at a convention center, the DJ Hero party was a celeb-packed concert with an open bar and Chinese food delivered in cute little to-go boxes. It also featured a multitude of celebs -- Rihanna is pictured below.
Guests such as Leo Decaprio, and athletes such as Grant Hill and Tony Hawk, not only nibbled on egg rolls and wontons, but snacked on taquitos and empanadas that sat on endless tables all throughout the music hall.
Because this was clearly not a concert for typical fans, most of the crowd stood and watched as Jay-Z and full band, including a horn section, ripped through an excellent 45-minute set before yielding the stage for Eminem. But not before the two performed "Renegade" together (video of which can be seen on Kanye West's blog -- lyrics NSFW).
When it came time for Shady to steal the show, he came up a little soft, at least in terms of winning the crowd over. He dug deep, perhaps a little too deep, into his new album -- the deliciously dark and often gross "Relapse" -- and ended the night with "Lose Yourself."
Looking and acting just like the guy who left in a huff the night before at the MTV Movie Awards, Eminem stalked the stage, gazing out into the crowd as if someone there just stole his wallet.
Anyone remember laughter? Didn't he know that the video game industry was bringing some excitement back to the music industry? And now, thanks to a game like DJ Hero, rappers may have another reason to back up their Brink's trucks?
Ah well, perhaps he was just bummed out that there weren't any DJ Hero games for the guests to play with.
-- Tony Pierce
Top photo courtesy Activision; other photos by Tony Pierce / Los Angeles Times