Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
by Gary Miller

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Belmont, Tuesday, March 12

"I remember being here a couple years ago standing in a bigass line with no wristband trying to get in," Seattle rapper Macklemore recalled before his at-capacity headlining set for the Warner Sound showcase Tuesday. A lot has changed in a couple years. After a fairly anonymous SXSW debut in 2011, Macklemore and his DJ Ryan Lewis find themselves at the top of the Billboard charts and surrounded by the most incessant buzz of this year's Festival. Rocking a fresh close-crop from Birds Barbershop, the "cold ass honky" waxed biographical on "Ten Thousand Hours" before delivering the discount goods on "Thrift Shop." Hands dotted the sky for queer-equality anthem "Same Love," before Talib Kweli crashed the stage to drop a verse from "The Actual." "SXSW reminds you of the hunger it takes to be an artist," Macklemore declared. "We do all these sold-out shows, but at SXSW, we're not shit all over again, and I love that." Before Macklemore pulled off The Heist, Brooklyn top chef Action Bronson rapped an entire track with a fan on his back and wandered from the stage to the top of the VIP balcony during a set of choice culinary-inspired cuts.

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