Mac Miller Warehouse Live June 27, 2013
I must admit, the first time I saw Mac Miller live at SXSW two years ago, I was unimpressed. That performance at The Fader Fort was average at best, with lackluster energy, little to no interaction with the crowd, and practically no real substance in his lyrics. I left there thinking "What's the big deal about this kid?"
Because of that show, I never bothered to research him further until I received this assignment. So I revved up my Spotify app, typed in his name, and saved a couple of his albums as playlists. After listening to Blue Slide Park for about two days straight, I really began to dig the dude's music.
Anyone can have a bad show once in a while. Maybe I was just unfortunate to catch his one bad show back in Austin. Judging from the sheer size of the crowd that packed into Warehouse Live on Thursday night, Mac's got to mean something to somebody. I mean, the kids were jammed in from the stage up front to the restrooms in the back!
I arrived just in time to catch the tail end of Chance The Rapper, a skinny Chicago kid with a hyper-active and haunted lyrical style that can only be described as "different, weird, and interesting". He turned up the crowd with his hit "Juice", enticing an earth-shaking response from the crowd as they shouted the title at the rapper's request.
Once Mac hit the stage, the energy and ferocity of the fans in the crowd unleashed a roar matched only by the intensity of the rapper onstage. In a flurry of jerks, jumps, and jukes, Miller made his presence known. I was told that he brought along his own lighting set-up valued at around $100,000. Indeed, I've never seen the stage at Warehouse so bright and colorful.
The set list was slit into a first set called "Bangers", which included the hard hitting intro track "Loud". The tattooed Mac smiled at the crowd, humped the microphone stand, yelled towards the ceiling, and generally caused chaos onstage. A comparison to Taz, the tasmanian devil from the Warner Brothers cartoons, would not be out of place here. This portion of the set ended with "Nikes On My Feet" and "Of The Soul", the latter off Blue Slide Park.
He then invited his band The Internet up for the second part of his show. And here is where Mac really won me over. Anytime a rapper picks up a guitar and actually knows his way around the strings, then I'm impressed. And Mac definitely has been practicing. The mood turned from "turnt up" to "laid back". I'm willing to bet that most of the kids in the crowd did not expect this, but I found it fascinating.
Of course he ran through more tracks from his mixtapes as well as his newest album Watching Movies With The Sound Off. He even managed to throw in the theme song to The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and a couple of hardcore guitar solos.
The show ended with the track "Donald Trump". It includes the following lyric: "Hopefully I'll be at the top soon, but for now I'm at my house, on the couch, watching cartoons."
I didn't believe it before, but after last night's show, I'm convinced Mac can take over the world while his haters getting mad.
Personal Bias: I give white boy rappers a chance as much as the next guy.
The Crowd: Young, sweaty, and white.
Overheard in the Crowd: "We are definitely the oldest ones here."
Random Notebook Dump: The shit that Warehouse Live's security puts up with... I really hope they get paid well for doing what they do.