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    Mac Miller performed for a full house at Mercury Ballroom on Saturday night in just one of the many stops on his GO:OD AM tour. The tour kicked off on October 6 in Rochester, New York, just 18 days after he released his major-label debut GO:OD AM on September 18. This album shows his exponential growth as an artist over the last few years and his enthusiasm is transmissible.

    I walked in to an aroma-filled (if you catch my drift) Mercury Ballroom as a fan of Miller's since 2010. I began listening to Mac Miller in high school, and I’ve stayed familiar with his music over the years, but have never caught a live performance before. I was pleasantly surprised.

    The opening performer was Goldlink, a 22-year-old rapper from Washington, D.C and a member of this year’s XXL Freshmen Class. He is no stranger to the stage, having headlined a brief European tour with the pronounced Andre 3000 in attendance. He sang songs from his new album "The God Complex" like “Ay Ay”, while wearing a NYPD t-shirt. “How many hip-hop heads are in the room,” he asked, as he began playing “Passing Me By” by Pharcyde. Goldlink's opening performance was impressive: He even played "Smells Like Teen Spirit", an unlikely song to hear at a hip-hop show.

    The walls of the Mercury Ballroom vibrated as the stage went black and the crowd chanted, “we want Mac!” Malcolm McCormick came on stage in a black and yellow Pittsburgh hat to “Loud”, his popular single from Blue Slide Park. “Louey-ville, Kentucky what the f**k is good,” he said as he finished the first song. He played songs “Watching Movies” and “Red Dot Music” from "Watching Movies With the Sound Off," "Nikes On My Feet" from his mixtape "K.I.D.S" and “100 Grandkids” and “Rush Hour” from his recent "GO:OD AM." For each song his energy was through the roof and he put on a great performance. One thing that particularly stood out to me was his use of a mic stand. It’s not often that you see a hip-hop artist stand still while performing, but for more than one song Mac Miller stood front and center and just used hand gestures to punctuate the music. 

    “There are two rules tonight. If any time throughout the night I say 'one band,' I want you to say 'one sound.' And for every time I say 'I changed,' I want you all to say 'a lot'” he said. Mac Miller’s energy must have been contagious, because the crowd was absolutely nuts. I saw a solo cup chugged and then thrown to the ground. There was a drunken group of people with matching family reunion t-shirts on, drunken girls shouting lyrics at one another, moms with their daughters and kids young enough to be in high school. 

    You may have the impression that I didn't enjoy the concert. But I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. Mac Miller is a talented lyricist, and the intimate setting of Mercury Ballroom was perfect for him and his level of engagement with his audience. The crowd was shouting and singing the words to every one of Miller's songs, new and old. Louisville loved you, Mac.

    Photo courtesy of aLIVE Coverage.

    Alexis Messmer's picture

    About Alexis Messmer

    2015 University of Louisville graduate. All things social media, marketing, writing, sneakers, photography, music, and a whole lot of coffee.

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