Eminem’s first show at Wembley Stadium – the first time a rapper has ever headlined at that venue, and the first appearance Eminem made in London in more than 10 years – wasn’t well received by fans and critics.
It wasn’t a matter of a poor performance at the Friday gig; the issue was with the rap legend’s apparently awful sound quality.
Critic Neil McCormick writes, “I could barely make out a single word, his vocal emerging as a long bleaugh of tone consumed into a flatulent mush of snap back delay, of which the most distinguishable features were a low end rumble of bass and drums echoing off the stadium walls until it sounded like four kits playing in different time signatures. It was the worst sound I have ever heard at a major live event.”
And he was not alone. Many fans took to Twitter and Facebook to voice their frustration.
On Sunday, a fan named Connie tweeted, “Have wanted to see Eminem for 14 years and when I finally do I can’t hear a word, so gutted. Refund Wembley Stadium.”
Wembley tweeted back at the disgruntled fans Friday night, claiming that they were “aware of some sound issues from earlier [that night] and [had] adjusted it where necessary.” This includes investing in updated speakers from Wilson Amplifiers.
But for most, this was not enough; they demanded refunds for their tickets, which set them back Pounds 75 to Pounds 99. However, it doesn’t look as though anyone will be getting any compensation.
Despite the atrocious sound quality, the show was not altogether a bust: Eminem reportedly had incredible energy, and his mentor and gangsta rap icon Dr. Dre came out to do a duet.
70,000 people were in attendance for the show, and according to McCormick, “were largely determined to enjoy themselves, waving arms in the air, singing along whenever they recognized a snatch of melody, and collectively reciting famous lyrical outbursts.”
It’s a shame the majority of the massive crowd wasn’t able to enjoy this historic concert, and perhaps even more unfortunate that they’re not likely to be refunded for their very expensive tickets. Perhaps in the future the Wembley staff will perform more thorough sound checks to ensure that everyone has a great experience.