Friday April 7th 2023.
Victoria's photos of the set are over in our photo section
Ben Haggerty AKA Macklemore, the Seattle-born artist, made a triumphant return to Glasgow last night, putting on an animated show that not only delighted his teenage fans but also managed to break the stoic facade of the diligent security at the O2 Academy, earning a wry smile from many of them. The performance was elevated by the energetic sound of trumpets, spirited choreography (which was charmingly cheesy), and playful costume changes.
During last night's performance, Macklemore's setlist kicked off with songs from his new record Ben. As well as tunes from The Heist, and Gemini, as well as some lesser-known tracks.
A single wardrobe change from a powder-blue, prom-like suit to a bold faux-fur jacket had an electrifying effect on the audience, transporting them back to 2012. The opening bars of "Thrift Shop" echoed from the balcony to the front barrier, with the crowd's excitement reaching a fever pitch in an instant, as they shouted along with the iconic lyrics, "Hey Macklemore! Can we go thrift shopping? What-what, what, what?" It was a truly uplifting moment that set the tone for an unforgettable night of fun and music. By consciously swapping out controversial lyrics "Smells like R-Kelly's sheets / Piss" for the safer alternative "Smells like some old sheets," the rapper, made an effort to distance himself from any association with the heinous crimes of R. Kelly, thus effectively severing any possible connection between himself and the disgraced musician.
Macklemore's latest step towards prioritising his mental well-being is a bold and commendable move. He spoke openly about his journey of self-help and healing through therapy and has encouraged his fans to find a safe space to heal through music and dancing. In return, his fans eagerly celebrated his reemergence to the stage as an opportunity to let loose, dance, and escape from the problems of the outside world for a little while- belting nearly every one of his words right back at him.
Macklemore basked in the intimacy of a smaller venue, his previous performance at a Dublin arena now a distant memory. The Scottish audience proved once again to be a force to be reckoned with, their energy filling the room like a tidal wave, and the artist rode the crest, his performance a testament to the enduring power of music to unite and uplift.
Victoria McKee victoriamckeephotography.com