Mar 20, 2014

Rihanna, Eminem to kick off ‘Monster Tour’ at Rose Bowl

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This Nov. 19, 2012 file photo shows Rihanna performing at the Kentish Town Forum in London. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP, file)
In this Jan. 31, 2010 file photo, rapper Eminem performs at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles,file) 

By Lauren Gold, Pasadena Star-News
POSTED: 03/19/14, 9:47 PM PDT

 PASADENA >> The real “Slim Shady” will be standing up this summer in a three-stadium mini-tour with Rihanna, and the duo’s first stop is the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium.

Promoter Live Nation announced Wednesday that rapper Eminem and pop singer Rihanna’s “The Monster Tour” will include shows in Pasadena, Detroit and New York. The artists, who have collaborated on his singles “Love the Way You Lie” in 2010 and “The Monster” in 2013, will kick off the tour at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 7.

“It’s great. And one thing about this one is there’s only three shows on this tour,” Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn said. “Frankly, I think this is going to be huge for the businesses and hotels just because we are the only venue west of Detroit. I do anticipate this being a really high demand event.”

Dunn expects the concert to generate at least $400,000 in revenues.

The show is part of the stadium’s new strategy to keep the venue financially viable without the controversial NFL, which was the subject of a lawsuit from neighbors of the Rose Bowl. The City Council approved a total of 18 large events at the stadium this year, which is more than the 12 allowed without council consent.

In addition to the regular UCLA college football season, boy band One Direction will perform three nights in a row this September and the stadium will host an international soccer game, the annual AmericaFest and Autism Speaks walk in the summer. The city council has already approved a second night for the Rihanna and Eminem concert, but Dunn said Live Nation has not yet determined whether a second show will be added.

Neighbors of the iconic stadium have been generally supportive of the concert alternative to the NFL playing at the stadium temporarily.

“We kind of realized that the Rose Bowl has to be used or it’s going to crumble apart,” said Bill Urban, president of the West Pasadena Neighborhood Association. “A couple of concerts is better than an NFL team because we feel the crowds are different. I realize concerts vary from one to another but they don’t tend to have the tailgating and such that an NFL team would have and that’s what strings things out and makes a mess.”

But some said they still had concerns about the newly announced concert. Nina Chomsky, president of the Linda Vista-Annandale Neighborhood Association, said she was concerned about the kind of audience that would come along with the Rihanna and Eminem show.

“I think Rihanna and Eminem are going to bring more alcohol, more drugs, a different kind of attendance than One Direction,” Chomsky said. “One Direction is going to be a group of attendees that will be mild and much easier to figure out what to do. I think Rihanna and Eminem are going to be, shall we say, a tough crowd.”

Chomsky said she was also worried about traffic for the Thursday night concert, but Dunn said Live Nation has contributed additional funds for traffic mitigation and said the stadium will plan accordingly.

“That’s probably the No. 1 issue we have as a collective team with the promoter and the Pasadena police,” Dunn said. “Certainly getting the word out and doing what we can to try to get people there early to minimize the conflict with people coming home from work.”

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