It was a big night for hip hop this past Wednesday at the Troubadour because Seattle rapper Macklemore dropped by LA to get down and dirty with us at the West Hollywood venue! The show was Macklemore’s eighth stop on his twenty-seven date U.S. tour, which he kicked off up in Olympia, WA back in early November. Along for the ride were openers X-Perience and Champagne Champagne, who also trekked all the way from the Northwest to perform for us just before the Thanksgiving holiday. It wasn’t your average holiday party, but hell, it was ten times better!
Macklemore released his first album, The Language of My World, in 2005 and then the Unplanned Mixtape in 2009. The VS. Redux EP followed in 2010, and since then, he has released three singles: “Wings,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “Make the Money.”
During the show, Macklemore explained to the audience that he and his producer, Ryan Lewis, are perfectionists and only put out records that they truly believe are flawlessly perfect. This little fact worked to the crowd’s advantage. Needless to say, we heard it all that night; from the old favorites, to the new singles, to the unreleased tracks, the show was musically COMPLETE!
The first time I saw Macklemore perform in LA was back in January at the Viper Room. I remember the venue being packed to the point of being uncomfortable, but at concerts, the rule “the more the merrier” usually applies, so it was pretty much the ideal crowd. This past show at the Troubadour was just as pakedt, but let’s not forget that the Troubadour is much larger than The Viper Room. That means that this showed had double the people, and yes, there was double the fun!
Wednesday’s crowd was animated. Everyone had their arms straight up in the air, hammering them up and down in a repeated motion straight from the get go. Everyone except for the very uninspired trio of fans who were the only thing separating me from the stage. Eventually they let go and joined in on the festivities, and then the party really started!
One show highlight was when Macklemore performed the song “Otherside,” sampled from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ track of the same title. It felt like every single person in the room knew the words, and they were singing along so loud that at one point it all blended in…you couldn’t tell Macklemore from the crowd, or the crowd from Macklemore.
Then the rapper excused himself from the stage only to come back dressed up as an ’80s dance lord, complete with a sequenced cape and a mullet wig, to perform “And We Danced.” After that came the end of the show, or at least what I thought to be the end of the show, but I should have known better. This is LA–the party don’t stop ’til two in the mornin’, right? After some loud howling and chanting on our end, Macklemore came out to perform one last song, an unreleased track that he collaborated on with opener X-Perience.
I’ve thought it through and have made my decision: this performance was undoubtedly better than the last. Although there wasn’t a lack of energy or quality the last time around, this time Macklemore really pulled out all the stops and changed up his performance. Besides producer Ryan Lewis, the rapper was joined on stage at various points in the night by a violin player, a trumpet player, a back-up vocalist, and even dancers (he called them the Macklorettes).
In addition, Macklemore paused between almost every song to talk to the crowd a little bit and give us some insight as to where he was mentally and emotionally when he created most of that night’s set list. All in all, the show was intimate and explosive. Yes, I know that sounds contradictory, but if you think about it hard enough, it’s completely possible. He’s maturing in his music, his performing, and his career… I can’t wait to see what tricks he has up his sleeve the next time around. You know I’ll be there!
Check out Macklemore’s music video to “And We Danced” for an idea of what we got a dose of on Wednesday night. He dressed up and even performed those same dance moves for us!
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Tour Dates:
Nov. 29 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
Nov. 30 – Dallas, TX – Trees
Dec. 2 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia Bar
Dec. 3 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
Dec. 4 – Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
Dec. 5 – Baltimore, MD – Sound Stage
Dec. 6 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
Dec. 8 – Boston, MA – Paradise
Dec. 9 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
Dec. 10 – Toronto, ON – MCO Club
Dec. 11 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig
Dec. 13 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
Dec. 14 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theatre
Dec. 15 – Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
Dec. 16 – Denver, CO – Bluebird
Dec. 17 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue