Mac Miller At The Hollywood Palladium
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By Brent Burns
Mac Miller shook a sold-out crowd at the Hollywood Palladium on Aug. 7. With an action-packed 20-plus-song set, everyone in attendance seemed to forget it was a Wednesday night and brought high energy and excitement in support of the young Pittsburgh rapper.
Miller took the stage at 10:10 p.m., opening with his hit song "Loud" from his 2012 mixtape Macadelic. He seamlessly combined other hits such as "Smile Back" from his debut studio album Blue Slide Park, songs from his recently released second studio album, Watching Movies With The Sound Off, and a little of everything in between. His lyrical wit and ability to perform intricately recorded material live were impressive, but it was his interaction with his fans that was even more notable.
While rappers are often associated with their lyrical flow, it's not just the words one should consider. Miller's stage presence was like a river flowing into the sea as the crowd swayed with a consistent rise and fall, inciting a rippling effect of ruffled arms that moved in sync to his tempo. The response from the crowd was indicative of Miller's career as an independent artist and a top-ranking performer whose appeal is far-reaching. A variety of fans were noticeably fueled by his rhythm, from the woman dressed in skinny jeans and an oversized hoodie, to the guy in the snapback and tattooed sleeves.
Highlights from the night included Tyler, The Creator's onstage cameo for "O.K."; Miller's performance of "Best Day Ever," which highlighted his musicianship when he picked up a guitar; and, of course, the moment when the entire venue almost caved in from the crowd chaos during "Frick Park Market."
From guest appearances and live instrumentation to crowd frenzies and fog machines, Miller delivered an abundance of energy and action to the room on a night that — as chaotic as it was — really represented Mac Miller, the man and the artist.
"I like being the guy without an identity," Miller said backstage. "I like being the guy everyone thought was this, but was really that. But it's all genuine and authentic and no one [who] knows me has ever questioned when I'm performing 'Lucky A** B****' … [or] when I'm doing 'Youforia.'"
Laughing, he added, "I'm just a complex individual for the different motions."
So, what's next?
"That's a great question that I've asked myself, and have been trying to figure out," said Miller. "But you know what? The thing that I'm thankful for about [Watching Movies With The Sound Off] is that it's an album that gives me some time to breathe."
To catch Mac Miller in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
"Lucky A** B****"
"Red Dot Music"
"O.K." (featuring Tyler, The Creator)
"Nikes On My Feet"
"Of The Soul"
"S.D.S." (featuring the Internet) (Space Migration Sessions version)
"Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza"
"Best Day Ever"
"The Star Room" (featuring the Internet) (Space Migration Sessions version)
"I Am Who Am" (Killin' Time)
"Objects In The Mirror" (featuring Tay Walker)
"Frick Park Market"
"Onaroll (Pink Slime)"
(Brent Burns is the dance/electronica GRAMMY.com Community Blogger.)