Nicki Minaj Stuns in Concert

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Mia Lehmkuhl | Editor-in-Chief

“Who wanna play with Nicki? Tens of thousands, as Nicki Minaj hit the stage for her 25th consecutive sold-out show in Toronto, Canada, according to People’s Magazine.

I have never been to a concert with as much production value as Pink Friday 2. Growing up, I was not much of a concert-goer. Imagine my excitement when the third concert I went to was to see the Queen of Rap herself.

Arriving at the arena, I was graced with the presence of the “Barbs.” Dressed head to toe in pink, wielding cowboy hats and Nicki Minaj t-shirts, I felt right at home. Not to mention everyone was hyping each other up. Given that the last major concert I went to was Mötley Crüe’s Stadium Tour in 2022, my expectations for concert etiquette were quite low. However, the Barbs proved to be a welcoming bunch, and both Minaj and the DJ who opened for her encouraged friendliness and love among the audience members—even telling us to turn to our sides and introduce ourselves to those jamming beside us.

When I heard that there was a DJ opening for Minaj, I was hesitant. I mean, no offense to DJs around the world, but sometimes you guys lack soul. It is immensely difficult to have a stage presence in front of a crowd made up of around 20,000 people, especially when you are not the main performer everyone came for. However, DJ Pharris delivered. The music was bumping, Michael and I were dancing, and the energy in the room was unmatched even though Minaj was not even on stage yet.

I will let Michael, the true Barb out of the two of us, share their thoughts on our evening.

Michael Harrington | Feature Editor

After a 30-minute DJ set, the arena went dark. After a brief video interlude, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Minaj rose from the bottom of the stage. She churned out hit after hit, not losing a single ounce of energy. In the first act, Minaj wore this stunning silver ensemble performing songs such as “I’m the Best,” “Press Play,” “We Go Up” and, of course, the iconic “FTCU.” The energy during this portion of the show was insane, and I was not expecting to lose my voice two songs in.

In the next act, Minaj busted out some of her most wild dance moves yet. In the performances of “Pink Birthday” and “Feeling Myself”, I was in awe at how the queen could dance. She is a rapper, of course, but her stage presence was out of this world.  Minaj later went onto the third act, where she unleashed her alter egos such as Chun Li, Red Ruby Da Sleaze, Harajuku Barbie and, of course, Roman Zolanski.

In the third act, I was almost faced whiplash from how fast-paced everything was. With performances of the songs “Barbie World,” “Roman’s Revenge” and Monster back-to-back, Mia and I were reminded of the time where Minaj was known for her crazy and animated rapping style. Overall, it was nice to see the queen let us know why we became fans in the first place.

In the ballads section, Minaj performed emotional songs such as “Save Me” and “Right Thru Me.” During the ending portion of the act, Nicki gave an emotional speech on loving yourself before loving anyone else. It was amazing to see a vulnerable side of Nicki, especially after her publicly documented feud with fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion. I am not much of a “crier,” but I did tear up a little bit when Minaj brought up not letting other people’s love for you define who you are.  After Minaj twirled off stage, singer and special guest Monica began to belt some of her throwback hits. 

Finally, the queen welcomed us to Gag City, in the final act. Emerging from a train and rapping her hits “Super Freaky Girl” and “Anaconda,” Minaj proved why she is a staying force in the industry. Her stage presence, rapping skills, and, most importantly, her fans kept the show going strong. She laughed, danced, cried and even allowed a fan on stage for the song, “Everybody.” My favorite part of this act was when she ripped the mic out of a fan’s hand for singing poorly—much to the relief of the crowd.

This concert was a “Moment 4 Life,” and was unforgettable. Mia and I appreciated the three-hour runtime, the outfit changes and the connection she had with us. The only thing I wish I could change was how limited the merch was…or how early we made it to the stadium.

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