Review: Nicki Minaj’s Dubai gig is short, but sweet

While Nicki Minaj gave an energetic performance, the decision to save Dubai for the last show of her globe trotting Pink Print World Tour may have been a mistake. The concert simply seemed too short.

The UAE hip-hop community were out in full force for Nicki Minaj’s gig at the new outdoor performance space, the Autism Rocks Arena, beside Dubai Outlet Mall.

Many were in full “Nicki” uniform – backwards snapbacks, high-top shoes and plaid shirts, tied around the waist over leather leggings.

While Minaj paid back the compliment with an energetic performance, the decision to save Dubai for the last show of her globe trotting Pink Print World Tour may have been a mistake.

For a Nicki Minaj fan, the concert simply seemed too short. You were left wanting more – full songs perhaps, rather than snippets, along with a costume change or two. She breezed through her set list with the whole affair lasting just over an hour.

That said, the 33-year-old did her best to mix it up. Taking the stage in her current platinum blonde hair and a nude-coloured, shredded, bandage-style catsuit adorned with gold, chain-mail fringes, her set included popular numbers like Feeling Myself and Right Thru Me and gritty rap tracks BedRock and Only.

Minah's silver manicured talons accompanied an almost blinding diamond on her ring finger – a gift from boyfriend and rapper Meek Mill, whose presence was felt on stage when she performed their collaboration All Eyes on You.

Black-and-white photographs of the couple were displayed at the back of the stage throughout the performance.

When the opening bleeps of her raunchy Anaconda began, Minaj confided that she was told to "tone down the show" for the UAE audience: "I usually get really freaky on this one but I can't get freaky on this stage."

It was the only time during the performance where her dance routine, which included some seductive crawls, was not pictured on the large screens on either side of the stage – instead these were switched to show a black screensaver-style graphic.

“I didn’t think Dubai would be this turnt up,” she said towards the end of the show.

When a front-row fan was given the microphone for a few seconds, and shouted breathlessly into it, “I love you Nicki”, the performer responded: “I’m so obsessed with you, too.” It came across as so sincere, you almost believed it.

hlodi@thenational.ae