NEW YORK — What a difference a year makes. Last year Mac Miller hit the intimate S.O.B.'s to perform his first show in the city, but on Thursday night, the Pittsburgh rap phenomenon returned to the much-larger Irving Plaza to begin his Blue Slide Park Tour before a sold-out crowd.
"The transition is crazy, like seeing how things build," Mac told MTV News just hours before taking the stage on Thursday. "In New York, in S.O.B.'s, I was freaking out about that, man. I was like, 'Man, there all these people here for me.' So to come and sell out Irving Plaza real quick is great, man. That's why I do what I do — to keep on growing and building."
The young energetic crowd of teens and 20-somethings, who were mostly dressed in Miller's "Most Dope" T-shirts, welcomed the opening acts, but as the clock ticked, they grew impatient. With the stage lights dark, the throng of supporters held their thumbs up (a hand signal Mac Miller and his fans share in a sign of solidarity) and began to chant "Mac, Mac, Mac, Mac." Finally, at 9:22 p.m. ET, the charismatic rhyme dealer emerged onstage from a cloud of smoke. Miller began rapping as the tinkling from his "Best Day Ever" track filled the concert hall.
"I never take a day off/ Work around the clock my engineer getting paid off," he rapped, taking center stage in a New York Yankees snapback and a blue zip-up hoodie.
The stage design matched Miller's Blue Slide Park album theme. There were street lights, a park bench and Mac's DJ's booth was set up to look like an ice-cream cart. Performing fan favorites from his K.I.D.S. and Best Day Ever mixtapes, Mac breezed through songs like "Get Up," the Al B. Sure-sampling "Ride Around" and "Senior Skip Day." When the Empire of the Sun-tinged "The Spins" dropped, Mac didn't have to say a word as the crowd performed the song's opening lyrics for him. "Wanna get a mansion, a Jacuzzi, a theater to watch my movies," recited concertgoers from the front to the back of the venue as the 19-year-old MC sported a Kool-Aid smile.
With the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, MM turned from rapper to rock star when he pulled out a white guitar for the mellowed-out "Another Night Alone," which he strummed onstage for the first time ever, much to the crowd's delight. At the end of the song, Miller screamed proudly, "Yeah mother----er, I play guitar and sh-- too."
Tracks like "In the Air," "Good Evening" and "All Around the World" brought the energy back up as fanatics bounced up and down with their hands waving in the air. There were also dedications to his deceased grandfather ("Poppy") and his mother, who was in attendance ("I'll Be There"), but the biggest thrill came at the end. After performing the rambunctious "Knock, Knock," Mac abruptly left the stage only to re-emerge for an encore. And the hook to the set-ending "Donald Trump" couldn't have been more fitting. "We gonna take over the world, while these haters get mad," Mac Miller sang.
Maybe he hasn't taken over the world just yet, but last night Mac certainly conquered NYC!