PNC Music Pavilion
Aug. 4, 2015
Nicki Minaj is one of those rarities who can walk in a room and stop everything. That presence magnified on stage? Frankly, it’s enough to kick an arena full of Minaj devotees into any action she so chose with a flick of her hair. When she rose onstage at the PNC Music Pavilion, all eyes were on her — and all she had to do was stand there, immobile and scanning her eyes across the room.
Now that’s a powerful woman.
Actually, that’s powerful for anyone regardless of race, sex or creed, and for any musician to be able to bring that kind of blinding presence to an almost two-hour show is impressive.
Discovered in 2007 through her MySpace page by Dirty Money Entertainment CEO Fendi, Minaj has come a long way and has basically built herself an empire; the queen-like stage presence and attitude more than fits (she’s a woman who has fought and earned that status, and it’s refreshing). She spent a while making appearances on mixtapes for artists like Lil Wayne (who would eventually sign her to his Young Money label) and T.I. until her debut album, Pink Friday,
was released in 2010 and garnered her a series of Grammy nominations. Not bad for one of the few music in the rap game; not bad for anyone.
The Pinkprint Tour, making the rounds after her third album release of Pinkprint
earlier this year, is a testament to those years of hard work and spitting rhymes for years of mixtapes. Minaj has earned herself major commercial success and the scale of the show she’s put together is a reflection of how she earned it and how powerful she has become.
She began the show as though in mourning, dripping black lace with a veil over her eyes, starting solo with “All Things Go,” “I Lied” and “The Crying Game,” her dramatic flair telling the story of heartbreak. And then she reemerged, the powerful recovery from that heartbreak, throwing down with her dancers and absolutely destroying hits like “Feeling Myself,” “Truffle Butter” and, of course, “Anaconda,” the song that sparked a thousand memes.