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Macklemore Concert Review Manchester Sept 12
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Macklemore Concert Review Apollo Manchester
This wasn't Macklemore's first visit to Manchester. He'd been here once before but only 200 fans turned up that evening and this promised to be much different. Since Thrift Shop there's been a welcome explosion of Macklemore fans all over the world.
Rap and Hip Hop have long suffered from the stereotypes it puts forward itself that it is all about drugs, money, sex and they say that's what sells but clearly there's another path and it's fitting that the renovated O2 Apollo and Manchester was the setting for his final date in England.
Outside you could sense even before the doors opened people had come here not just for a concert but a real party. Even before Chance the Rapper took to the stage you could sense what was a vibrant atmosphere amongst his fans. A real warm sense of unity amongst his fans that you don't often get at Hip Hop concerts.
From the moment the DJ started spinning the fans started bouncing up and down though the mostly white middle class audience didn't always follow instructions from Chance when the 'n word was used to instruct them to join in. You could see a look across the faces of the crowd as if to ask is he really talking to me but nobody can say they didn't enjoy the mix of slow, soulful rapping fused with high energy dancing and heavy beats thrown on stage.
It really did feel like you were more in a club than at a concert but that's the beauty of the Apollo because it's large enough to hold enough people to get a buzz but small enough you feel intimately involved in the acts.
Chance The Rapper On Stage
Macklemore Same Love
Manchester Comes Alive For Macklemore
As much as chance was enjoyed the fans here were really there to see Macklemore and I don't think anybody could have left disappointed. Ryan Lewis was first out and then Macklemore followed and you'd swear the roof could have come off the place.
Opening with The Heist he generally continued with the big songs that everybody had come for and that most knew. It really was like being at a club. He insisted on everybody even those on the 'comfy' seats had to stand up and dance. It was an order and one pretty much everybody followed.
Incredible rapping skills, great music and some touching subjects just added to the mix. There were real moments of intimacy and humour throughout as he praised the Manchester public for their dress sense then spotted somebody sporting a 'big ass coat' and asked them to pass it down to the stage before mocking how badly it smelt (not quite as much as R Kelly's sheets) before going into a crazy good performance of Thrift Shop.
If it was a set up nobody cared anyway if it were real then some fan got a souvenir they'll never forget as after he'd finished he passed the coat back into the crowd. He talked openly about how he turned his life around from being a weed smoking Xbox, Grand Theft Auto playing bum into the success he is now by simply getting sober and focused.
He was brutally honest about how some rappers can function whilst smoking but he wasn't one. His touching speech about the 'biggest human rights fight' of recent times when talking about gay rights was met with widespread applause and you can't help feeling tomorrows generation won't even discuss this subject it will be openly equal.
The smoke and glitter explosions aside one of the stand of moments had to be when he threw himself into the crowd and sang standing on people's shoulders (great pic below) and kept belting out the song. It really was a show performed with passion and pretty much everybody was jumping up and down and the place literally shook.
Though it wasn't the final song of the night Can't Hold Us was by far the biggest stand out song. It was belted out and everybody and I mean everybody was jumping up and down. The only thing I've felt like it is when a team scores and the fans go nuts for a few seconds except this lasted minutes.
there were people in their 50's dancing and screaming alongside teens and it was quite a sight. I've not seen as much energy or joy created in a crowd as I did for this song and he'd pretty much sewn up his show at this point for being my favourite concert of the year possibly the decade.
I came enjoying Macklemore. I left loving him. Great performance, great music and what seems to be a genuinely great guy for music and rap.