He is so gorgeous!” said a slightly sauced Austin woman behind me. She was there to see everyone’s favorite Seattlite of the moment, Ryan Lewis!
Kidding, she was there to see Macklemore. Well, both of them, technically.
By 12:30, she and the rest of the capacity crowd at Antone’s was more than ready. And Macklemore didn’t disappoint. The set was near perfect. The right length, the right vibe, etc.
He worked the crowd the way he does so well, and it was obvious his charisma is more than just effect of a viral one-off. He crowd surfed—standing up—and at one point asked if he could get a “Hey, nonnie nonnie ho-ooooh.” And guess what? He got it!
Granted, the room was primed to party—SXSW!—but by the end, the energy in the club was vibrating.
He played all the big numbers, and he brought friends. Mary Lambert was there to guest on “Same Love.” Wanz was there to do his basso hook on “Thrift Shop.” And fellow local boy Allen Stone joined him on stage for “Neon Cathedral,” a musical elegy on the drinking life.
After “Thrift Shop,” which he played second, he reflected on that song’s massive success. “When we put the record together,” he remembered, “I said to Ryan, ‘Damn, we don’t even have a single.’ So we just put out this weird song, and now it’s sold 4.5 million copies.” (It also has 160 million views on YouTube, by the way.)
And he’s clearly enjoying some of the success. Introducing his song “Cadillac,” Macklemore talked about a recent Craigslist acquisition me made when he was “home for 36 hours”—an early 90s El Dorado limo, which he said he had brought down to Texas with him. And indeed, on the walk back to the hotel a short time, this reporter was passed by a white stretch Cadillac, traveling at a high rate of speed into the early Texas morning.