Skip to main content

Live Review: Macklemore at O2 Academy, Birmingham (8/4/18)

Macklemore has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, a rapper that I’ve always secretly liked simply for the fact that his music is just fun – you can put it on at any time and just listen to it without ever paying attention to it. He does have some deep hip-hop tracks with some depth to them like “Same Love” but for the majority his latest album, Gemini, was just full of bangers. I’ve wanted to catch him on tour for a while now, I missed out on the gigs with Ryan Lewis purely because I was at college and prioritised other things with the finite money I had.

I got to the gig 10-15 minutes before he came on stage and the O2 was sweltering hot, inhumanely hot I’d say. This is a real problem at the O2 Academy in Birmingham and it’s something they need to desperately change because it’s ridiculous and quite dangerous. Anyway, Macklemore rocked on stage to “Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight” the PERFECT opener, it builds into a boiling point and gives him the opportunity to run on stage for his verse, I love that song and it was performed even better with the actual singer of the chorus there in all of his wacky glory.

What erupted from then on was 2 hours of non-stop showmanship from the man himself. Hip-hop fans write Macklemore off but this was genuinely one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to with the screen at the back of the room, the dancers, the live band, and the numerous outfit changes. I swear to god he changed outfit after every song, a personal highlight for me was when he came on dressed as Willy Wonka for the song “Willy Wonka” which is a highlight on the Gemini album anyway. The crazy video at the back along with the bass that was so heavy I could feel the ground shaking and after it had finished I could feel my rib cage still shaking. THAT is bass!

The talking in between songs was always so apt and funny, he’s genuinely a hilarious dude when he’s on stage and he knows how to get a crowd going. When he played “Can’t Hold Us” I was in genuine fear that the balcony was going to collapse as hundreds of people were throwing themselves around and waving their arms in the air. I’ve been to nearly 70 gigs and that is one of the craziest audience reactions I’ve EVER seen to a song, absolutely mental. Crazy. The confetti canons at the end sent the crowd into a frenzy and as the show finished and the lights went down James Brown’s “Get Up” rang around the arena and Macklemore stayed on stage just to dance and throw his equipment for the crowd. If you ever get chance to see Macklemore, don’t turn it down whatever you do.


Popular posts from this blog


50. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream  LCD Soundsystem returned this year after a long time being split up, and it was the year of reunions with everyone seeming to put their differences aside and rake in their money with a big tour. However, LCD produced one of the stand out albums of the year, a side step from their previous projects and produced more anthemic songs. There's some real stand out tracks of the year on this album, it's just a shame about that Microsoft Paint cover.
49.The Mothers Earth Experiment - The Mothers Earth Experiment
I'm not the biggest fan of Prog Rock, but then again maybe I'm just not listening to the right stuff. However, TMEE fall into this genre and they've released one of my albums of the year. Whilst chatting to them about it as part of my 'Introducing...' series it was extremely interesting to hear about the making of the album, it's big influences and that strangely wonderful album cover. A must listen for Prog Rock fan…

Introducing... Space4Lease

Whether you like it or not Psych Rock is back... with a vengeance. There's so many bands bursting on to the scene at the moment and one of the most exciting is Space4Lease. It's hard to describe their music other than saying it's the bands personality, incarnate. Recent single, If It's True, is probably one of their best to date with a strong, power ballad feeling yet such raw emotion behind it. Space4Lease are really catapulting themselves into super stardom and it's time to jump on the bandwagon.

Q. Firstly, the age old question of what does your name mean and where did it come
Walt Blythe: It can be a pretty uninteresting story haha. In March/April of 2014,
Grayson and I were freshly writing songs and not yet playing shows. We had been
recording but hadn’t settled on a band name. As we were driving back to Brandon’s
studio after taking a break to brainstorm ideas, we happened to drive past a sign that
read Space For Lease. We weren’t sure on it at first but …

Introducing... NAMES

NAMES are a band hailing from Wales, a music scene that appears to be bursting at the seams at the moment with phenomenal acts such as Boy Azooga, Estrons & We're No Heroes it's easy to see why a lot of labels are focusing their attention on that area. NAMES are different though, more sincere and genuine than a lot of musical acts out there with a voice to die for and the melodies to match. Their single "Limb By Limb" is an absolute cracker and I recommend checking it out immediately.

Question. Why did you call yourselves NAMES?
Ioan Hazell:
We always felt that Names had a refreshing sense of anonymity (it was also what we had written as the title of the list of potential band names.
Joey Robbins: The fact that it's such an unusual name, and the kind of mysterious vibe it carries appealed to us.

Q. Was there ever the thought process that it was never going to get you to the top of a google search?
Yeah, thats an unfortunate truth of it, it forces people to le…