When I covered SXSW in March there were a handful of groups that were must sees for me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get into all of them, but Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were deal breaker for me. I really, really wanted to see these guys live. I was already a big fan of the new album, but I wanted to see how they threw down on stage. They had a five or so shows that week at least and I figured I would be able to get to at least one, but as Friday night rolled around and I knew that Saturday was going to be a tough one to get into I started to get a little worried. My partner in crime was Max, a professional at knowing about, and getting into, the must see concerts, but even he couldn’t help a sister out that night. They were playing the Tumblr/GAP show and when we arrived there was a line down the block of people with badges and passes who had been waiting for hours. The venue was at capacity and only VIP’s were getting in. The thing you need to know about SXSW is if you can talk a good game and act like you are supposed to be wherever you want to be then most likely you will get in. At least that’s what happened to me. Most of the time. The Tumblr house was an exception. These guys weren’t having any of it. Max got on his phone to call anyone and everyone he thought would have a connection and I tried to look like I was supposed to be inside. I saw my chance when two girls were getting their bags searched. I just made my way behind them like I had been with them the whole time and boom, I was in. At the same time I ran into a chick from a show the night before who was hanging with peeps from the GAP and it was on. From there we made friends with a local named, of all things, Austin, who knew everyone working at Rainey St. and was able to lead us through the packed crowd to the side of the stage to shoot.
There is a lot of hype surrounding these guys right now and hands down, it’s all worth it. From the moment they took the stage to the moment the show ended they put everything they could into their performance. The energy was a bit surreal to be honest. I had now seen three days full of shows and although my expectations were high I also knew that they had already played four or more times in the past three days. Who can bring the same energy to every show? Mack and Ryan Lewis that’s who.
If you haven’t heard their album or listened to their music it’s a must. Macklemore’s words along with Lewis’s production is just insanity. There are a ton of hits on the album and even though Thrift Store is the single that blew them up, for me Same Love is one of the best songs of the year if not the decade. I know that’s a big statement, but when it’s 2013 and we’re still fighting over basic rights for human beings it’s time to wake the fuck up. Love is love people and no matter what anyone tries to tell you we all know deep down that you have absolutely no control over who you love. That’s why it’s called falling.
So these are my faves. The first being one of the highlights when I jumped onstage after Macklemore started crowd surfing. You could tell he wanted to do it since the show started and I was just waiting for my chance… and I got it.