Macklemore

With a Boston Celtics jersey and some “Irish Celebration,” it comes with little surprise that Macklemore gave us our favorite concert of the year.

On September 25, more than 800 students piled into the Viking Union Multipurpose Room expecting a great performance from the Seattle hip-hop artist Ben Haggerty, more commonly known by his stage name, Macklemore. The crowd experienced a two-hour set that kept them dancing and fist-pumping all night long.

Macklemore strutted back and forth across the stage swinging a sweat-soaked towel, which he sometimes left on top of a mic stand. “You know you’re really performing when you sweat through your shirt,” he told the crowd.

Macklemore 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.

Mackelmore was joined by producer/disc jockey Ryan Lewis as well as Seattle-based group The Physics, who opened the sold-out concert.

He performed every song in his repertoire, but saved the best for last. Throughout the show, concertgoers constantly requested he play “Irish Celebration,” one of his most popular tracks. At the end of the show, Macklemore finally gave them what they wanted as he stripped off his jaguar-print vest and revealed a Boston Celtics jersey underneath. With a large Irish flag in one hand and his mic in the other, Macklemore proved himself a sensational entertainer.

PHOTO: Mackelmore during his Sept. 25 show in the VU MPR.
Macklemore during his Sept. 25 show in the VU MPR. Daniel Berman/The AS Review.

RUNNER-UP:

Portugal. The Man with Kimya Dawson and The Courage

On February 4, the Performing Arts Center filled with anxious students looking forward to a great show with Portugal. The Man, Kimya Dawson and The Courage. The concert proved to offer a little something for everyone lucky enough to attend.

Hailing from Wasilla, Alaska, Portugal. The Man could be one of the most accessible “experimental” rock groups around, bringing a mainstream sound with indie credibility. While to many a label like “mainstream” may mean “boring, bland and predictable,” Portugal. The Man was anything but.

Since their first release in January 2006, Portugal. The Man has recorded and released six albums, and their seventh is expected to be released in July.

Sharing the stage with Portugal. The Man was Kimya Dawson, a singer-songwriter perhaps best known from her work in the movie “Juno.” However, way before “Juno” came out, Dawson made up one half of The Moldy Peaches, an indie group leading the anti-folk music scene.

Dawson’s sing-song attitude and longing lyrics speak to the adolescent in all of us. She has given a generation of fans a sonic time machine, transporting them back to days of riding bikes and wishing for summer.

Along with Portugal. The Man and Kimya Dawson was The Courage, which started as a brother-sister duo six years ago in Centralia, Wash. From their small beginnings, the band’s popularity has skyrocketed with the addition of two members and the release of two albums. The Courage does a superb job of conveying emotion and isn’t afraid to bring religion into the mix as well.

This concert featuring these three acts proved to be an eclectic mix of music that took the runner-up spot for our favorite concert of the year.