For the second night (November 21) in a row at Irving Plaza, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the able duo from Seattle, stole the show, or better yet, executed a successful heist.
In the wake of several “Macklemore!” rallying calls by the eager, sold-out crowd, the Rainy City artists, alongside trumpet player Owuor Arunga, employed “Ten Thousand Hours,” the kick-off cut from their newest LP The Heist. “I’m so damn close I can taste it/On some Malcolm Gladwell, David Bowie meets Kanye shit,” Mack rapped to the audience’s delight. Before long, the 2012 XXL Freshman spoke to the crowd for a few, borrowed a snow leopard coat from a spectator, left the stage with it and speedily returned while mounted on a scooter, accompanied by two dancers and Wanz. Mack went on to perform one of his most popular singles to date, “Thrift Shop,” prior to starting a “crowd surf the snow leopard” chant, to return the coat back to its rightful owner. After, vocalist Ray Dalton joined Mack on the stage to perform “My Oh My.”
Following the performance of “Otherside,” Mack disclosed his reason to vote for newly re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama; “Romney scared the shit out me.” He also praised the approval of Referendum 74, which recently legalized same-sex marriage in Washington State. The political references transitioned perfectly to same-sex advocacy record “Same Love,” joined by Mary Lambert on the chorus. The track produced a united ambiance as spectators sang along and waved their arms congruently.
Lewis—on the turntables—went on to switch up the tempo, playing “Can’t Hold Us” and “White Walls” for Mack to liven up the crowd once more. Both records did, yet the duo altered the concert’s pulse again, performing the somber, “Starting Over,” which divulges Mack’s past struggle with alcoholism. The two Washingtonians ended their energetic show with: “Wing$,” “Victory Lap,” and “Gold.” For encore, Mack abruptly appeared on the stage again in a blonde wig and a white-striped purple cape to perform his 2009 buoyant record “And We Danced.” Lastly, he ditched the wig and cape for a massive Irish flag to rock “Irish Celebration,” his signature track for concerts in recent months.
Prior to Mack’s performance, New Orleans rapper Dee-1 warmed up the crowd with songs “I Am Who I Am,” “Hip Hop Hooray” and “You Stupid Fool.” But the former math-teacher-turned-MC really set off the crowd with “The Man In My City,” as he randomly picked one spectator to freestyle with him, garnering a splendid reaction from the audience—the same energy, which remained for the rest of the evening. —Christopher Minaya (@CM_3)