We have to hand it to Red Bull. For the month of November, they absolutely dominated Los Angeles' live music scene. From the exclusive, world premiere of new Big Sean songs to collaborations between BADBADNOTGOOD and Futue Islands' frontman to Miguel and TV On The Radio covering krautrock legends Can, Red Bull's 30 Days in LA program was an unequivocal success.Regardless of particular, personal tastes, Red Bull had a ticket worth purchasing for everybody and anybody.
To close out their month-long run, Red Bull chose to go the "secret show" route. Considering the promotion and build-up for Red Bull's final #30DaysInLA event, good, well-thought-out guesses pinpointed the unannounced artist as everyone from Kanye West to Frank Ocean. However, for their final hour, Red Bull chose to throw a bit of a curveball.
Backed by two of her go-to musicians from her backing band, Nicki Minaj took center-stage at Los Angeles' intimate Teragram Ballrom. The perfectly-packed 7th St venue was a far cry from the small-city-sized stomping grounds Nicki Minaj has become accustomed to performing at, but the Pinkprint rapper-singer's well-manicured stage presence and album's worth of hits were on full display for her 60 minute of performance.
Choosing to run through a retrospective of her hits from recent years, Nicki Minaj began with the massive Pink Friday single "Super Bass" and her career-defining Beyonce collaboration "Feeling Myself." Much has been said about high-profile artists with lengthy careers jumping on stage and simply "performing the hits," and Nicki did just that. Nicki Minaj never even inched close to a slip-up throughout her entire setlist, and this past Monday's show proved she has pretty much cracked the code for a fluid, single-filled performance.
Minaj's harder, street-ready salvos such as "Beez in the Trap" and "Did It On Em" were performed right alongside softer, melodic pop selections such as "Moment 4 Life" and both of her more recent Trey Songz collaborations. Nicki transitioned seamlessly from song to song, and everything from the way she grooved across the stage to her intermissions felt like well-structured, well-planned parts of a perfectly-oiled machine. You would be hard-pressed to think of another artist at Nicki's intersection of R&B, mainstream rap and pop who has a stronger brand, and the fact that every one of that night's 18 singles was an undisputed hit was a testament to Nicki's current spot as one of the reigning queens of her craft. She began her career with the Queenpin street-rap of "Keys Under Palm Trees," but Monday's concluding records of "The Night Is Still Young" and "Starships" are perfect examples of why Nicki is one of the strongest popstars on the market right now.
Nicki Minaj - Red Bull 30 Days In LA Show (Setlist)
- "Super Bass"
- "Feeling Myself"
- "Truffle Butter"
- "Moment For Life"
- "Did It On Em"
- "Beez In The Trap"
- "Bottoms Up" (Trey Songz)
- "Dance (Ass)" (Big Sean)
- "Hey Mama" (David Guetta)
- "Throw Sum Mo" (Rae Sremmurd)
- "Touchin, Lovin" (Trey Songz)
- "Love More" (Chris Brown)
- "Up All Night" (Drake)
- "Your Love"
- "The Night Is Still Young"