Allwell “Fourrell” Dagogo

Macklemore Brings Ben Down Under - Sydney Review

Allwell Fourrell Dagogo
May 13, 2024
4 min read

Alright, confession time—I honestly didn't expect to have as much fun as I did at the Macklemore concert. Not that I doubt the guy’s talent. Like many, I jumped on the Macklemore bandwagon back in 2012 when “Thrift Shop” was the anthem of every thrift store enthusiast and played so much you almost wanted to hide in one. You know, where you obsess over an album like The Heist, then it slowly slides to the back of your playlist as new jams come out. Fast forward to a few years ago, his name popped up again, and yep, I was back on the Macklemore train only to repeat the same cycle. This cycle led me to his concert, and honestly, I had almost forgotten just how impactful and dynamic his music is. Needless to say, I was reminded.

I got to The Hordern Pavilion half an hour early, but the queue was already snaking around the block—clear evidence of a sold-out show, one of three in Sydney. The crowd was incredibly diverse, from kids experiencing their first concert to older fans. I even met a dad who brought his five-year-old son, and a woman who had flown over 8,000 miles just to be here tonight.

Why does Macklemore have such a devoted following? Over the years, Benjamin Hammond Haggerty hasn't shied away from tackling issues that resonate deeply with many. Tonight, the buzz was all about “Hind’s Hall,” his latest track, which has stirred up quite the conversation for its bold pro-Palestine stance.

The vibe was set right from the start by DJ Beeba, who hit the stage before Macklemore, spinning classic tunes from the likes of the Spice Girls, perfectly priming us for what was to come. Just after 9:00 PM, the energy surged as Macklemore burst onto the stage with “Chant” from his latest album, joined unexpectedly by Australian singer/songwriter Tones And I, which drove the crowd wild.

The evening was a brilliant mix of the old and new. Macklemore changed into a huge fur coat for “Thrift Shop,” and what followed was a whirlwind of Macklemore magic—hit after hit with dazzling costumes, his amazing team and backup dancers killing it, and all while tackling some hefty issues. Throughout the night, he delivered a masterclass in performance, merging fun with serious themes, all while showing off an enviable stage presence. His interactions were genuine, bringing everyone into his world. One moment we’re all touched by the storytelling in “Hind’s Hall,” and the next, we're dancing like it's “1984.” From the serious notes of “Same Love” to the sheer ridiculousness of “And We Danced,” it was an emotional but thrilling ride.

The show wrapped up with Macklemore handing out candy to the crowd and segueing into “Glorious.” The crowd sang along with every word, not ready to let the night end. The inevitable encore calls brought him back for “Good Old Days” with Tones And I. The night concluded on a high note with “Can’t Hold Us,” with Macklemore diving into the crowd, because how else would you end a night of such high energy?

There’s something magical about a Macklemore show; it’s more than just the music. It’s the connection, the energy. Leaving the venue, every single person knew they'd been part of something special, a blend of party and touching moments that only Macklemore could deliver.

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