Daniel Berman/ The AS Review
In a set that spanned nearly two hours, Macklemore had Western students dancing and fist-pumping nearly non-stop. Macklemore, real name Ben Haggerty, was joined by producer/disc jockey Ryan Lewis, as well as Seattle-based group The Physics, who opened the sold-out concert. Macklemore performed every song in his repertoire.
Haggerty began by thanking Bellingham residents for their continual support. “This is every musician’s dream,” Haggerty told the 800 concertgoers. He noted that he once performed for just 14 people. Haggerty strutted back and forth across the stage swinging a sweat-soaked towel, which he sometimes left atop a mic stand. “You know you’re really performing when you sweat through your shirt,” he told the crowd.
Haggerty frequently mentioned that Bellingham was his favorite place in the country to perform. “But don’t tell Cornell that,” he joked, speaking of a past show.
Halfway through, Haggerty asked if any ladies wanted to join him on-stage. He selected Western junior Aubrey Ahlberg from the front row. Haggerty got on one knee and sang about wanting to be a stay-at-home dad, if only he could find someone to support him.
“I was shaking the whole time. It was unreal,” Ahlberg said following the concert.
The crowd repeatedly asked him to play “Irish Celebration.” He replied, “We’ll get there, don’t worry.”
After a performance as alter ego Raven Bowie, in which he changed into an absurd brown wig and jaguar-print vest, Macklemore finally gave them what they wanted. He stripped off the vest to reveal a Boston Celtics shirt beneath and unfurled an Irish flag. It was a showman’s way to end a concert that rocked those lucky enough to attend.
Photographs by Daniel Berman and Joe Rudko/The AS Review.