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Macklemore @ AFAS Live, Amsterdam

CONCERT REVIEW: Macklemore Celebrates New Album ‘BEN’ With Joyous Amsterdam Crowd

Macklemore, the Grammy-winning rapper known for hits such as Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us, brought his energetic performance to an ecstatic Amsterdam crowd last night as he celebrated the release of his new album BEN with support from Tones And I (who would also make a surprise entrance twice during the setlist of Macklemore). The concert was a non-stop party, with Macklemore impressing the audience not only through his dynamic performance but also engaging with them on a personal level, zooming in on a fan who named their cat ‘Macklemore‘, which was brought up by the rapper a multitude of times throughout the evening.

Together with Tones And I, Macklemore opened his energetic set with album-opener CHANT, a powerful and bouncy track that set the tone for the rest of the night. As fans danced and sang along to every word, Macklemore delivered a passionate performance filled with hits from his extensive catalogue as well as new tracks from the new album, which includes a whole bunch of features including Collett, Morray & the aforementioned Tones And I. Obviously, not all of the artists featured on the album could be there, but Macklemore didn’t let that stop him from delivering an incredible show. Having recorded videos of the artists who couldn’t be there, he seamlessly integrated those clips into his set in a way that made it feel like they were actually present on stage. The impressive use of multimedia elements didn’t stop there – during the performance, Macklemore also projected various visuals on a large LED screen behind him to enhance the overall experience for the crowd and brought along pyro-effects and confetti cannons to take the energy level up a notch.

While Macklemore’s cause for the tour was the brand new album BEN, Macklemore did not shy away from old material, with a special mention to his debut album The Heist, which was featured the most on tonight’s rather short setlist with hit singles such as Thrift Shop, the Grammy-winning Same Love, and last but most definitely not least Can’t Hold Us, which was the last song of the evening, leaving the fans on a high note.

Macklemore’s setlist was somewhat abbreviated, with only 14 songs played over the course of 90 minutes, but the speeches in-between songs added a personal touch and helped connect with the audience. Personally, I would have preferred to have more songs included in the setlist, but there’s no denying that every song that was played life was adequately brought to life with Macklemore’s signature high-energy performance style. There was a certain charm about his humble and gracious stage presence as well – despite being a Grammy-winning artist with millions of fans around the world, Macklemore maintained a down-to-earth vibe.

Macklemore’s show is not our ordinary concert or genre for that matter, as we’re usually found at rock, metal and more alternative shows, but Macklemore’s performance gave off Twenty One Pilots vibes to us, which is a huge compliment in our book. Accompanied by an outstanding band and backup dancers, Macklemore left the audience buzzing with excitement from start to finish.

In conclusion, Macklemore’s recent tour was an impressive showcase of his versatile performance style, highlighted by the seamless integration of multimedia elements and the use of pyro-effects, confetti cannons, and LED projections. His music translates very well to a live audience and Macklemore impressed with his vocals, and the maintaining of the vocals throughout the evening even with the excessive jumping around on stage.

Get a glimpse of what the experience was like at a Macklemore show by checking out photos of his Amsterdam show below.

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Glenn van den Bosch