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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Rock the House

Kevin Noonan | Sunday, November 6, 2011

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis rocked the house Saturday. The atmosphere inside Legends during the performance exploded with energy, brought by both the artists and the crowd.


From the moment Macklemore stepped on stage to perform his newest single “Make the Money” to his closing with the Notre Dame favorite “Irish Celebration,” the place was absolutely insane. The crowd was screaming for an encore before the artists had finished their signoff.


And the crowd wasn’t the only one loving it.


“It was crazy. It completely exceeded my expectations of what tonight was going to be like. I didn’t know if was going to be good or not, but the vibe and the energy of the crowd was very raucous, rambunctious, beautiful, challenging. It was beautiful,” Macklemore said after the show.


“It was awesome,” Lewis added, “Awesome.”


Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, and Lewis, his producer and DJ, came on stage after Stanford Hall resident Alex Andre performed a short set. The duo brought with them their trumpeter, Owuor Arunga. Arunga’s live trumpet work, which remained true to the original songs while also engaged in inspired improvisation, brought the performance to another level.


Lewis also had some creative work at the DJ table, including an awesome, slowed down remix of the end of the duo’s single “Can’t Hold Us.”


But the real star of the show was Macklemore. As a recording artist, his delivery and lyrical style is defined by raw intensity. On his albums, he is able to exude his potent energy very effectively.


Live, his intensity becomes electric and contagious. And yet at the same time, he is able to temper that intensity with a lively sense of humor that allows him to play his more serious songs without losing the crowd’s energy.


His performances of “Otherside” and “Wings,” undoubtedly two of his best songs, played well with the crowd despite their sober themes of death, drug addiction and consumerism.


It wasn’t all serious, though. As he does in the music video, Macklemore dressed up in his “Raven Bowie” alter ego outfit, inspired by Ziggy Stardust, to perform “And We Danced.”


Haggerty and Lewis even treated the crowd to an unreleased single, “10,000 Hours,” which based on the rabid crowd response, will likely be another hit for the artists when it debuts.


The new song will be their fourth single this year, leading up to a new full-length album that Macklemore hopes to release in the spring. The group now heads for a month-long nationwide tour starting Wednesday in Bellingham, Wash.