Eagle Rock Entertainment | 2009 | 78 mins. | Not Rated (Explicit Lyrics)

Eminem: Live From New York City
originally aired on the Showtime cable network back when it was first recorded in 2005. From there, Eagle vision released the concert on DVD back in 2007. Now they are getting set to release Eminem Live from New York City on Blu-ray which captures Slim Shady at his high definition best. Whether you enjoy this concert obviously depends on if you’re an Eminem fan; for those that are, this will be a must have. Throughout the course of the nearly eighty minute performance Eminem performs some of his biggest hits, and is joined by special guests D12, Obie Trice and Stat Quo.

Things begin with a little trio down memory lane, as viewers are shown a montage of Eminem growing up; one that ends with his face plastered on various magazine covers. Then we see footage marked “Earlier Today,” in which the rapper appears to be writing a suicide note and loading bullets into a pistol (this IS Eminem, after all). We witness him pacing the halls backstage, holding his head in anguish. Meanwhile the rest of D12 and other buddies are wondering where he is. Then, Eminem steps out of his dressing room with a suit and tie on; the suicide apparently forgotten.

Finally, Eminem walks through a door onto the stage at Madison Square Garden, where his appearance is met by thousands of screaming fans. He immediately tears into a spirited version of “Evil Deeds” from Encore. As soon as the song ends, the stage erupts in a display of rather impressive pyrotechnics. From there the lights go down and the entire look of things changes. The lighting is different, and Eminem appears in his more traditional outfit of a white tee and a red bandana wrapped around his head.

The stage is done up in typical Eminem fashion, inflatable middle fingers let the audience know what they’re in for while an animated Marshall Mathers III engages in some criminal activity on the video screen that makes up the bulk of the stage. Eminem and his compatriots roam around with anger and enthusiasm, delivering exactly what the crowd paid to see—a tough, yet spirited performance that takes the crass intelligence of Eminem’s albums (up to Encore) and brings it to life on stage. Madison Square Garden is a long way from the small Detroit nightclubs where he got his start but Eminem shows here that success hasn’t softened his anger or his drive to be the best, if nothing else, it seems to have given him more material to write about as proven with songs like “My Band” and “Cleaning Out My Closet.”

For you D12 fans out there, they get a chance to shine with songs like “How Come” and the crowd favorite, “My Band.” Just so we don’t forget the whole pistol/suicide thing at the beginning of the show, there’s an intermission where Eminem goes backstage to change outfits, and we see him finishing the suicide note and loading his clip and putting it in his gun, laughing it off and saying “That’s how you got out with a BANG baby!” Obviously the guy’s not dead, but clearly Eminem and the other producers put some thought into this; it’s sort of like a short film within the concert.

For fans of Eminem, this Blu-ray is an excellent opportunity to see the rapper at the height of his fame and power, delivering some of his biggest hits.The backstage antics and the intriguing stage set up only add to the fun.

01. Backstage 1
02. Evil Deeds
03. Mosh
04. Business
05. Rain Man
06. Ass Like That
07. Puke
08. Kill You
09. Like Toy Soldiers
10. Git Up (feat. D12)
11. How Come (feat. D12)
12. Rock Star (feat. Bizarre of D12)
13. 40oz (feat. D12)
14. My Band (feat. D12)
15. Backstage 2
16. Stan
17. The Way I Am
18. Just Don’t Give A Fuck
19. Got Some Teeth (feat. Obie Trice)
20. Stay ‘Bout It (feat. Stat Quo)
21. The Set Up (feat. Stat Quo)
22. Like Dat (feat. Stat Quo & Obie Trice)
23. Cleaning Out My Closet
24. Mockingbird
25. Just Lose It
26. Backstage 3
27. Lose Yourself (feat. D12)

Presented in 1080i, Eminem Live from New York City represents a solid transfer from Eagle Vision. The concert footage can be considered just short of excellent, with Eminem and his cohort as well as the stage construct clearly detailed at most times. Bright scenes offer a solid sense of dimensionality, but wide angle shots have some noticeable softness. I didn’t notice any serious digital anomalies such as dirt, scratches or edge enhancement.

The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. The soundtrack was clearly mixed to recreate a concert like atmosphere, which it does rather effectively. Because Eminem uses record players and samples instead of instruments is it impossible to locate individual instrumentations within the sound field. As a result, the front area offers a lot of bass, rather than diffusing the individual sounds. The rear channels provide the audience reaction, which completes the concert like atmosphere.

There are no special features.

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