Team Rockhaq believe in rewarding the top students in our community with pre-release music, concert tickets and interview opportunities with bands they would love to speak to. We call these Rockhaq Missions. Soul girl Ashton Bryan was awarded a pair of live tickets to see Nicki Minaj at Birmingham NIA and here’s what she really made of the UK’s first Pink Friday tour. Enjoy 😉

I had been waiting for Nicki Minaj to do a UK tour ever since she broke out into the music world. I must say I felt quite special being able to watch this performance as it was her first ever UK tour and first ever show in Birmingham. I knew what Nicki Minaj was all about well before going to the show. Crazy hair, loud fashion sense, Barbie dolls and, stating the obvious here, an outstanding rapper with her own unique style and character. All of this is what we got on 26 June at NIA Birmingham.

She must have had three or four outfit and hair changes in the space of just an hour! This was expected. Big heels, tutus, bright pink gorgeous hot pants and of course big hair. The stage was small; one tall platform in the centre and two smaller ones by the side. Pretty simple but they spruced it up by projecting images and video on the front. At one point they put the inside of a dolls house up which I thought was cool. I couldn’t spot one empty seat during the show except when everybody was standing up and dancing. If I had a pound for the amount of pink wigs I saw I would actually be a millionaire.

She really tried to make sure the audience were keeping energised through the show by shouting “Are you with me top left? Top right? Top middle? Floor?” and the whole audience would go wild. I must admit there were a few dead moments like when Nicki would go for an outfit change and the DJ would try to keep the crowd warmed up with her music and talking to the crowd but this got the audience bored quickly. I noticed it went a little quiet. She also picked out four or five members of the crowd from the very front and got them up on stage to sing ‘Bedrock’ with her. Fair enough she was getting people involved but this was boring for the rest of us having to sit and watch them take photographs and hand each other T-shirts. I wanted a T-shirt! That also killed about 15 minutes from a one hour stage appearance.

Prior to seeing this show I had heard that Nicki Minaj is rubbish live, but I can tell you that is not the case at all. Whoever thinks that is either a hater or listening to something different. With her onstage were male and female dancers. The girls would be wearing tutus or hot pants but the men would be wearing shiny, foil-like trousers with no shirt but lots of baby oil, which I found hilarious! It was obvious they took their inspiration for the set from Barbie and Ken.

Me and my friend Khia are big fans of Nick Minaj, but we prefer her old stuff from her mix tapes rather than all this new dancey pop stuff from her new album ‘Roman Reloaded’. I’m not a fan of pop or dance at all. She sang just two of her old numbers;  ‘Hold Yuh’ featuring Gyptian and ‘Itty Bitty Piggy’, so we struggled to keep up with the crowd at some points in the show. They knew every single word but we didn’t because there was some new stuff we hadn’t heard yet.  Her performance followed after her support act Stooshe. These girls are beautiful and have amazing voices but pop music? Not really my thing. Apart from a few dead moments and the huge sweaty giant dancing next to me all night, I had a really good time and it was an amazing experience. I just hope she goes back to her old ways and starts making more hip-hop/rap tracks as that’s why she always really stood out for me.