It’s hard to imagine that Mac’s live show could have gotten that much better in the three short months between his Blue Slide Park run and his current Macadelic tour, but the 20-year-old Pittsburgh MC continues to master the stage, as he proved Wednesday night during his sold-out gig at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom.
Visually, Mac’s new trippy set design is a step up from the playground theme he used when he was on the road promoting BSP. “It’s cool, man, it’s a different type of thing. We were used to doing like the DJ, me and the hypeman and then that’s it and the homeys,” Mac said when he appeared on “RapFix Live” only hours before he took the stage. “Now we got all the extra stuff. We got like the cool visuals. It’s a different kind of show.”
For starters, there was a five-panel video screen that hovered above the stage displaying customized montages for each of the songs that Mac performed. There were colorful LCD lights, raised platforms and a gang of illuminated faux mushrooms on the stage. Miller didn’t reveal all of the props all at once; instead, he pulled back the layers to his set design slowly as the hour-long show progressed.
It was just after 9:30 p.m. when DJ Clockwork jumped on the turntables playing “English Lane,” the opening track to Mac’s #1 debut album . Immediately afterward, the star rapper and his hypeman TreeJay stormed out onstage rapping along to “Blue Slide Park.” Miller started out strong, throwing out his club-hopping anthem “Party on Fifth Ave.” rather early before stopping to address the spirited crowd.
“New York City, what the f— is good?” he shouted as the young concertgoers screamed ferociously for their rap hero. “My name is Mac Miller and I appreciate y’all coming out.”
It was September 2010 when a then wet-behind-the-ears Mac performed his first show in NYC at the intimate SOB’s, but on Wednesday night he returned a much different MC. Still, the Most Dope General didn’t forget what got him here, so he ran through several songs from his 2010 K.I.D.S. mixtape, including “Don’t Mind if I Do,” “The Spins” and “Kool-Aid & Frozen Pizza.” After he bounced around to the rambunctious “Knock Knock,” the stage lights went low and the psychedelic mushroom props started to glow as the Mac emerged from the dark, spitting “Loud.”
Since 2011 the energetic performer has rocked more than 200 shows, and while he made sure to roll out all of his fan favorites, he was clearly excited to put his new material on display. He slowed things down for the soul-searching “Thoughts From a Balcony,” “Angels” and “F— ’Em All” but picked things right up for his set-closing “Donald Trump.” While rapping the words to his gold-selling single, Miller played to the crowd, encouraging a full-throated sing-along.
On the song’s hook, Mac promises to “take over the world,” yeah, one concert venue at a time.
What is your favorite Mac Miller live performance? Tell us in the comments!