Jun 7, 2024 - News

Michigan Central brings local legends for opening day concert

Jack White performs as fire shoots into the air in front of Michigan Central Station Thursday night. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

Jack White performs "Seven Nation Army" as fire shoots into the air in front of Michigan Central Station last night. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

An estimated 20,000 people came to Michigan Central last night for a concert that served as a symbolic opening ceremony for the old train depot, with performers including Diana Ross, Eminem, Jack White and Big Sean.

The intrigue: From techno, hip-hop and rock to R&B and gospel, the show went for two hours last night before Eminem — an executive producer of the concert — ended the show with his new song "Houdini" and "Welcome to Detroit" with Trick Trick, backed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

What they're saying: "For people who don't know … for most of my life, [Michigan Central] was just a big eyesore," Big Sean said during his performance.

  • "What's cool about the train station is it's been through every era of Detroit. It's seen us be bankrupt … It's gone through all of this pressure and now it's a diamond."
The pit section where VIP guests was filled as thousands surrounded the station across Roosevelt Park
Big Sean performs "Bounce Back." The VIP pit section was filled as thousands surrounded the station across Roosevelt Park.

The vibe: A countdown rang out as showtime hit at 8:30pm, with shouting masses crowded in front of a massive stage erected in front of the station. Newspaper headlines about Michigan Central's decline and its subsequent rebirth from Ford flashed across screens.

  • Then, an announcer welcomed Detroit native "global superstar" Ross, who emerged in a bright orange outfit belting the classic "I'm Coming Out."

Go deeper: Detroit's once-abandoned train depot restored to past glory

avatar

Subscribe for more Axios Detroit in your inbox.

Read the full edition

More Detroit stories