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Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Nicki Minaj brings the heat at Pink Friday 2 tour opener

Nicki Minaj performs at her Pink Friday 2 Tour, smoke and smotlights lighting up the stage. The concert had a setlist of 36 tracks with songs from all of her albums. (Provided by Ie-Chen Cheng)

Hot pink spotlights. Drums clashing. The stadium erupts in cheers as the iconic opening of “I’m The Best” fills the air while flashes of white light dance to the synth beat. Rapper and singer Nicki Minaj’s voice booms from the speakers. As she reaches the fourth line of the song, the audience finishes her lyrics, yelling, “Which world tour should I go on today?”

Minaj’s Pink Friday 2 Tour kicked off at the Oakland Arena on March 1, drawing in more than 25,000 fans. The sold-out concert marks Minaj’s return to touring after a hiatus since 2019. Ending in mid-July and spanning 30 shows across the US, Europe and Canada, the Pink Friday 2 Tour serves as a testament to her global appeal and popularity. 

In support of her highly anticipated fifth studio album “Pink Friday 2,” the tour features a 36-song setlist showcasing tracks from the new album alongside older, chart-topping classics that cemented Minaj’s status as the “Queen of Rap.” The blend of old and new songs ensures that every fan has an enjoyable experience, whether a longtime follower or newcomer to her music.

Following the opening track, Minaj began her first set with fan favorites from “Pink Friday 2,” like “Barbie Dangerous” and “FTCU.” She then sprinkled in songs from her past albums, including “Beez in The Trap,” “Black Barbies” and “Roman’s Revenge.” 

Concert attendee Arthur Wu (11) has followed Minaj’s music since 2018.

“This concert really showed her impact on music because everyone knew all the songs,” Arthur said. “She didn’t even have to even rap. During some parts she was just silent, and you could hear the whole audience singing the lyrics.”

With dancers and creative visuals like colored smoke, spotlights and laser displays, the production of the tour surpassed audiences’ expectations. Throughout the concert, Minaj posed in glowing, yellow-rimmed phone booths dedicated to her different alter egos like Roman and Chun-Li. The stage mimicked the futuristic pink cityscape of “Gag City,” an AI Queendom created by her fans.

With the sets, the choreography, the outfits, the dancers, you can tell she’s been in the game for a long time

— Tiana Salvi (11)

Minaj herself dazzled the audience with over six costume changes, donning outfits like a pink bra and ripped jeans paired with a blonde wig inspired by her Harajuku Barbie alter ego and a metallic bodysuit with matching silver boots. For fan Tiana Salvi (11), the visuals highlighted Minaj’s ability to deliver quality performances.

“It was a really fun experience, and she had super cool concepts, like when she had all her alter egos,” Tiana said. “With the sets, the choreography, the outfits, the dancers, you can tell she’s been in the game for a long time.”

Special guest Monica surprised fans during the midshow break and sang hits including “Angel of Mine” and “Before You Walk Out of My Life.” Rather than the traditional pre-concert “opener,” the veteran singer performed to a full crowd in between Minaj’s two sets.

For the last eight songs, Minaj shifted her focus to her more widely recognized hits, like “Starships.” She captivated the audience’s attention with her iconic 2010 track “Super Bass,” shouting the iconic line, “I am Nicki Minaj, I mack them dudes up.”

As the encore of the evening, Minaj performed “Everybody,” a fitting finale that symbolized the fans brought together from all over the country for the tour opener. With songs from her first album to her fifth, she took her audience on a nostalgic journey through every era of her career. 

“The vibes and energy of this concert were insane,” concert attendee Joyce He (9) said. “Everyone was yelling her songs word for word, especially the ones released a long time ago. Her music won’t ever get old. She’s called the ‘Queen of Rap’ for a reason.”

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About the Contributor
Ashley Mo
Ashley Mo, Reporter
Ashley Mo (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Ashley hopes to write about stories both within and outside of the Harker community, form friendships on the journalism team and learn more about global news events. In her free time, she enjoys playing golf and listening to music.

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