“One! Two! Three!” shouted Macklemore from the roof of Dick’s on Broadway, giving a cue to a few hundred folks who had stayed to the bitter end of his video shoot Wednesday to finally say, “Good night!”
The anvil chorus went up and that was the end of it, an evening that a weary production crew had meant to wrap by 10:30 p.m. but that had worn on till just after 1 a.m.
The plan, according to crew member Chris Durkopp, had been to keep the shoot secret till one hour before start time, then tweet out the news. But the time and place started to leak out in the morning, first through Twitter, then Facebook and radio. By 6 p.m., thousands of eager fans had gathered on Broadway to watch. The crowds made it impossible for Macklemore to make his planned entrance into the front driveway, so, two hours later, he snuck in the back alley off John Street in a Mercedes SUV. At 11 p.m., many people in the crowd were doubting that Macklemore had even shown up, but at 11:36 p.m. he finally made an appearance, waving to the crowd from the roof.
According to Macklemore’s trumpet player Owuor Arunga, the shoot was just one scene from a video for the song, “White Walls.” The band shot another scene earlier, in Los Angeles. The sequence at Dick’s consisted of Macklemore getting in line for a hamburger — while dozens of extras lined up alongside him — then dancing and singing as he walked over to three Cadillacs and an old Honda, which he sat down on for a minute. Before that, Macklemore and his entourage sang and danced on the roof of Dick’s.
“It’s all about materialism,” said Arunga, suggesting that it was all in fun, expressing a love of Cadillacs and other consumer goods.
One of the most intriguing parts of the operation was a drone that appeared from time to time in the sky, lit up with with red and green lights. It held a camera, shooting from above. It felt like nothing less than a visitor from outer space.
After the filming was finished, hundreds of people were still standing behind steel barricades in the middle of Broadway, separating them from the action. As they waited, Macklemore and his trusty rhythm man, Ryan Lewis, each swept in front of the crowd, touching fans’ hands. One of them was 13-year-old Bush School student Phoebe Riley, an aspiring musician herself who was there with her mom, Suzanne Riley. Phoebe looked somewhat stunned after having touched the manna of both artists.
“I am freaking out,” she said, smiling through her braces. “I almost started crying, but I stopped myself.”
Phoebe’s mom said her daughter had recently run into Ben Gibbard at Sonic Boom Records.
“It’s so different now, ” said Suzanne Riley of Seattle’s rich music scene. “It’s all within reach.”
For one night, at least, it was for thousands of Macklemore fans.
Find more photos of the video shoot here.