This past Saturday night, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, with opener Sol, played the Spring Concert here at Amherst College. To say that this was a step up from last year’s Ludacris (“What up, Connecticut?!”) Spring Concert would be an understatement. Macklemore rocked this campus. In the midst of pre-finals tension and hysteria, he got Amherst College students to throw shit to the wind for one night and actually enjoy themselves. If that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.
Hip hop artist Sol opened for Macklemore, and, as far as opening acts go, he was pretty great. Despite the fact that most of the audience didn’t know his songs, he had everyone dancing along with him, and was able to hold his own until it was time for Macklemore to grace the stage.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis captivated the audience from the moment their set began. A natural performer, Macklemore filled in the space between songs with banter and “Williams sucks” jokes. He explained that he is a “competitive person,” and it was therefore necessary that his concert at Amherst be better than the one he had recently played in Williams, as well as the night before that in “Portugal…well, it was actually Indiana, but that’s close enough.” One of the most notable moments of the night occurred directly before he played his hit song “Thrift Shop.” He asked if a member of the audience owning a fur coat (the main item of clothing that Macklemore wears in the “Thrift Shop” music video) could have it crowd surfed up to the stage so that he could wear it while he performed the song. Once it reached Macklemore’s hands, he nodded in recognition and appreciation, saying that this was an “albino Amherst sabre-toothed tiger” jacket, one of the best. He did remark, however, that the jacket had that good old “grandma urinated on herself” smell. After the song, he chanted, “Crowd surf the tiger!” until it reached its owner.
Moments like these helped to bring Macklemore to a more intimate level with his audience, but his performance of the songs themselves is what really made the concert so powerful. He performed with a passion and a dynamism that was infectious and inspiring, whether he was singing “Same Love” or “And We Danced.” It will be difficult to top this come next year’s Spring Concert.