Eminem's Rapture tour has so far been nothing short of a full-blown spectacle, and the US rap superstar's Wellington show was no exception.

More than 46,000 fans packed Westpac stadium, breaking all the venue's previous attendance records, to experience the sheer power and energy of the rapper's live show in his only New Zealand gig and first visit to the capital.

The event eclipsed all previous audience sizes at the stadium and was the fastest sellout concert for the venue as well the biggest single-day event in its history.

Eminem concert breaks attendance record


The notoriously elusive Eminem, real name Marshall Mathers, who broke onto the music scene 20 years ago with albums "The Slim Shady LP" and "The Marshall Mathers LP" was older than many of his Kiwi fans, although it didn't show in the way he bounded athletically around the stage, and there were plenty there who would have remembered the impact his music had when it first came out.

Following opening acts Boogie, Royce Da 5'9 and Aussie hip hop chart toppers The Hilltop Hoods, Mathers delivered a powerhouse performance that charted the course of his varied career and showcased the dynamic and distinctive rapping style that propelled him to worldwide acclaim two decades ago.

If there was any doubt as to whether Mathers still deserves his place on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest artists of all time, it was dispelled by the self-styled Rap God's delivery of the complex rhymes, word-play, wit and sheer audacity that characterise his music.

The performance saw a collaboration between the rapper and his "hype" partner, known only as Mr Porter, who wove rhymes around Mathers and took every opportunity to pump up the crowd and name drop Wellington in between tracks. They didn't really need the help though, with half the city probably able to hear their roars of appreciation carrying on the uncharacteristically still night air.

Working through the different phases of his music, Mathers kicked off the show with "Greatest", followed by "Won't Back Down", before "Kill You" prompted the first major crowd singalong on first mention of Mathers' Slim Shady former alter ego.

"Rap God" proved beyond any doubt the rapper can put his money where his mouth is, as he executed a perfect live rendition of the track that holds the record for the most words ever used in a rap. The speed and verbal dexterity with which Mathers shot words across the stadium had anyone left sitting down, up on their feet.

Tracks from his most recent album "Kamikaze", such as "Lucky You", also prompted big crowd responses but the energy ramped up in the stadium for "Stan" and "Love The Way You Lie", with the ethereal Skylar Grey delivering spine-tingling vocals in place of Dido and Rihanna, and a live orchestra adding to the sound resonating around the stadium.

Moving back into more humorous territory, a medley of hits from Mathers' Slim Shady phase, which he described as when he was "still f**ked up on cocaine and meth," got the enormous crowd pumping. After finishing with "Not Afraid", the encore track "Lose Yourself" saw plenty do just that, and the reason the tour was named Rapture, if it wasn't already obvious, was clearly revealed.