I have been a Macklemore fan since his first album The Heist released back in 2012, so I was excited to see him perform live. My biggest doubt was whether or not, the show was going to be as energetic and fun as the ones that he used to do with Ryan Lewis?
After having listened to his recently released first solo album Gemini, I was conscious that he had changed his sound, adopting a more pop perspective, but I was hoping to hear some of the dance hip hop vibes typical of his previous works at the concert, and to be honest, he didn’t disappoint me.
The show took place at the 02 academy Brixton last Friday (April 6) and it was sold out, with almost 5000 people dancing and singing along to Macklemore’s biggest hits. Dave B, who open the show, Nally Eric and Dan Caplen were some of the many guests that performed at the show. I love the atmosphere at the O2 Brixton Academy, it’s unbelievable how the romantic and classic architecture makes everything look so beautiful and intense.
The O2 academy Brixton started its life as a cinema and theatre in 1929 and it is now one of the most popular music venues, nightclubs and theatres of London. The O2 have hosted a lot of greats shows since the 1980s. Eric Clapton, Dire Straits and Bob Dylan are some of the biggest stars to have performed there, so it’s a great honour for any artist to be able to play there.
The tour to support Macklemore’s first solo album Gemini started in Portland, Oregon last year and most of the shows were sold out very quickly. The first date of the UK part of the tour was in Manchester on the 30th of March.
For the show at the O2, Macklemore decided to play a wide range of song from his different albums, but of course, with a special attention to Gemini. He began with “Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight” featuring Nally Eric, who made a fire entrance surprising the crowd. The song, which is taken from his last album, was the perfect start to give energy to the audience. The public reaction to the first song was amazing, the crowd was applauding and screaming very loudly, for like 5 minutes.
The atmosphere remained fun and danceable even with the two subsequent songs “Firebreather” and “Marmalade”, which is Macklemore daughter favourite song.
The fourth song performed by Macklemore was “Thrift Shop” from his debut studio album in collaboration with Ryan Lewis, The Heist. It is one of their most iconic and popular songs, and the public enjoyed it, singing and dancing to it. “Thrift Shop” is one of those songs that can’t be missed in a Macklemore shows
One of the best moments of the show was when the rapper decided to pay his famous hit “Same Love”, the song was released 2012 and is part of his debut album The Heist. The track features vocals from Seattle-based singer Mary Lambert and it address issues around rights for the LGBTQ community – it was recorded during the campaign to support the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington State.
To introduce the song and the theme of equality in every social field, the artist spoke about current American president Donald Trump and the way in which the rights of minorities are systematically violated. He is one of the many Americans artist who have taken a strong position against the new president.
The theatre exploded when he performed “Dance Off” taken from his second studio album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, and when we thought we could not dance any longer or have any more fun, Macklemore surprised us with a performance of “Can’t Hold Us”, ending the show in the best way possible.
Macklemore has also recently announced a joint tour with Kesha for Summer 2018, the two are going to be on the road from July but unfortunately just in North America. The tour is for good causes too, with Kesha donating $1 from every ticket sold to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and Macklemore donating his to PLUS 1, which advances racial and social justice through the M&RL Equity Fund.
Despite not being flanked by Ryan Lewis, Macklemore has been able to give his audience an incredible show, full of twists and international guests. So, if you guys have not seen him live yet, you should get tickets for one of his next concert in Europe. He is going to play in Italy, Germany and France this month so doesn’t miss the chance to see him live, visit his website here for a full list of upcoming shows.
Words by Rebecca Donati