Macklemore at Marlay Park, Dublin – Review and Photos
Last night Macklemore appeared on stage to 37,000 fans, a far cry from his first gig here which he played in the Twisted Pepper in 2011. 3 years and 4 Grammy’s later, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis played to their biggest audience ever last night at the sold out Marlay Park gig.
Previous to the main support Ellie Goulding, American rappers Angel Haze and Danny Brown hit the stage at Marlay Park. Unfortunately both acts didn’t have the best weather, but through the pouring rain they both put on memorable performances as the growing crowd waited in anticipation.
Quite noticeably, the crowd composed of a great number of under 18’s. I don’t think I have seen that number of drunken teenagers in a confined space since my Wezz days and while most were perfectly harmless, there were a few that were worrying to watch. This did effect the atmosphere especially at the beginning, but as the show went on and the park filled, the ambiance at Marlay Park improved and really grew into something special.
In perfect timing, the clouds parted as Ellie came out for her set. It was obvious by the crowd’s reactions to songs that most were new fans of Ellie’s as nobody really responded to her first album’s hits like ‘Starry Eyed’ and ‘Lights’. All this changed when Ellie took it acoustic for a stripped back version of ‘Guns and Horses’ which she played solo on her guitar. Her sweet clear voice echoed through the air and fans joined in, uniting the crowd in a true Kodak moment. When she moved onto her more recent upbeat material like ‘You, My Everything’ and ‘Anything Could Happen’, the songstress danced around stage as the crowd jumped to the beat, singing every word. After a few kind words, Ellie bid adieu to the fans with her hit ‘Burn’, playing the electric guitar for the song. It was an exciting set that really showcased her live skills not only as a vocalist, but also as an instrumentalist.
See also: Ellie Goulding at Marlay Park – Photos
As the huge flag that hung from the stage dropped, it exposed the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis set. As the opening instrumental for ‘Make the Money’ played, fireworks sparked and both performers took to the stage, Macklemore dawning a Irish flag sewn into his clothes. After just two songs, the set stopped. Macklemore had a nearly inaudible speech with the crowd and said he’d be back and ”we can pretend that this never happened”. After a 15 minute or so wait, he came back again and apologizes for the delay before disappearing again for another 15. While this was going on, tech were fiddling around on stage and even projected the production screen on stage by mistake for the thousands to see.
Nearly 45 minutes after the set was supposed to start, the artist joined the stage for the final time and made up for lost time with their smash hit ‘Thrift Shop’. From that moment on, everyone forgot that the technical interruption had ever happened. After apologizing profusely for the delay, Macklemore then began into his moving gay and lesbian rights anthem ‘Same Love’, which had the crowd swaying with lighters in the air.
From that moment on it was full throttle. Hit after hit, Macklemore performed fantastically, engaging and conversing with crowd, touching fans, hilarious costumes… You name it! One of his best performance skills is that he adapts and changes his mood with each song. One minute being funny and jumping around the stage, and the next seriously spitting lyrics about commercialism and death. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s performance at Marlay Park, even with its initial hiccups, was one of the best hip-hop concerts I have ever been to. After a moving final speech and taking time to individually thank each member of production, (something which is very rarely done, and is a great attribute to an artist in my eyes!), the duo had one more final rendition of ‘Can’t Hold Us’ with green, white and orange confetti streaming down through the dancing crowd. It was the perfect finish to the special concert.
Photos by Tudor Marian