Live Review: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis + Thundamentals + XP – Adelaide Entertainment Centre (09.08.16)

Since the release of their debut LP The Heist in 2012, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have dominated the global music scene. While their latest project, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, hasn’t peaked as high on the charts, it’s definitely helped cement the duo’s already loyal following, made evident in their live show.

Frequent collaborator XP opened, running through a condensed set while still finding time to interact with the growing crowd. His raps were sharp and punctuated by a down to earth sensibility, often delving into struggles the entire audience could relate to. He soared to new heights when tackling “Me Time”, dedicated to his mother who passed from breast cancer over a year ago. The track is saturated with raw emotion, however it was an acapella intermission that really drove it home. Without backing tracks, XP took complete charge of the words and commanded attention, highlighting his genuine sense of artistry.

Aussie hip-hop group Thundamentals took their turn next, blasting on stage to a one-man trumpet fanfare. From the get-go they were bouncing off the walls with energy that matched their up-tempo tracks. Their collectively cheeky attitude navigated their setlist, peaking with “Quit Your Job” and “Noodle Soup” before toning it down for an unexpected cover of Matt Corby’s “Brother”. Wrapping up their time on stage with crowd favourites “Smiles Don’t Lie” and “Something I Said”, their influence became clear. The sea of eager punters put every ounce of effort into being the craziest on tour, at request of the band. Looking down on the crowd, it was utter mayhem that would’ve made any artist proud. Channelling Flume’s Splendour appearance, the boys uttered a quick ‘Fuck Pauline Hanson’, before running off stage.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ entrance was grandiose and this strikingly American sense of bigger is better persisted through their entire set. With a dominating swagger, they entered the arena and welcomed the bustling crowd to the ‘weirdest show in Adelaide’ before cranking through a 16-song set. Dancers, outfit changes, guest performers and multiple instrumentalists constantly dashed around the stage, switching positions and ensuring there was always something going on, coupled with a vibrant display of video clips, bright lights and images.

While there were crowd giveaways of Macklemore’s artwork, biscuits hurled to the balconies and even on-stage dance-offs with crowd members, it was something else that really commanded attention. Throughout the night, Macklemore took to the microphone to bring it down a notch and take some time to reflect on issues like marriage equality, terrorism and politics, concluding ‘any amount of hate cannot overpower love’ and ultimately mirroring the messages entwined within his songs.

Featuring a mix of tracks from “The Heist” such as “Thrift Shop”, “Wing$” and “Can’t Hold Us”, in addition to newer numbers “Buckshot”, “Dance Off” and “Downtown”, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ensured there was something for everyone. Interactive, energised and flat-out fun, they sure know how to put on a show.

Header Image: John Goodridge.


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