Finally returning to Luxembourg after their triumphant show at Rock-A-Field back in 2013, hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis kicked off their World tour on Tuesday night at Rockhal.
Since breaking onto the scene in 2012 with their multi-platinum self-released debut album “The Heist”, Seattle hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have continued to churn out hit single after hit single and with the release of their new album “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” that pattern looks set to continue.
Support came from 19-year-old Raury who has been hyped up by the blogosphere over the last few years, courting collaborations with Lorde, featuring on SBTRKT tracks as well as gaining the services of Tom Morello on his debut album. However, it’s live where he stands out, with his abundance of energy and charisma, he delivered his own mix of soul, hip hop & folk. He’ll surely be coming back for his own headline show in the not so distant future.
Then it was time for the main event and as the lights lowered, the stage rose from the depths of the Rockhal to reveal the band including a string quartet and brass section with Macklemore taking up point on the extended stage, whilst Lewis was content on his own riser at the back with his decks as they launched into “Light Tunnels”, the opener from the new album.
Then with Macklemore & Lewis appearing with their finest oversized fur coats it was apparent they were about to drop “Thrift Shop”. This of course got the first big sing along of the evening with the crowd dancing away and laughing along to the comedy hip hop. It is testament to the number of hit singles they have that they can give us such a huge hit so early on and not worry about the lack of a big finale.
Since their debut album they have become the hip hop act the whole family can enjoy, as they not only take on comedy but tackle more socially responsible topics including their assault on our consumerist ideals with “Wing$” before delving into gay rights in “Same Love” whilst condemning the homophobia which is so prevalent in hip hop.
All this before Macklemore turned onto his own guilt with their success on the back of black culture on “White Privilege II” where the stage show was rained back, only keeping a solitary spot light on Macklemore as he delivered his vocal barrage. These more reflective moments took the night to a different place but still managed to keep proceedings upbeat which is no mean feat when tackling such issues.
But it didn’t take long before the unashamed fun was back with the light hearted & playful “Let’s Eat” as Macklemore sat at a dinner table to deliver this one before launching some brownies into the crowd, lets just hope they were all above board as there were some youngsters in the audience.
From then on it was relentless party mode with “Can’t Hold Us” seeing Macklemore climbing into the buoyant crowd before finishing on their new hit “Downtown” which encapsulates everything the duo are about: joy, energy and exuberance. Eric Nally even joined them on stage for a short but effective cameo with his own infectious stage presence.
As people began to filter out of the Rockhal all you could see was broad smiles and hear laughter through the humming of “Downtown”, even as I type I can still hear the screams of the chorus from Nally reverberate in my head. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis certainly know how to deliver a show of sheer joy and it’s no wonder their fans are so loyal and cry from the rafters that you have to see them live.