Courtesy of the Social Science Student Council, the University of Western Ontario’s Mustang Lounge on January 10 was host to the first stop of Mac Miller’s Larry Fisherman tour with guests The Come Up, Rich Kidd and SonReal. Virtually selling out as quickly as announced with just over 1,100 confirmed on facebook, which isn’t surprising. The following Mac Miller has created for himself since emerging practically out of nowhere back in ‘09 is literally devouring, with fans from “hipsters”, party go’ers and hip hop heads alike. Comparing himself to a modern “ A Tribe Called Quest mixed with The Doors”, Mac Miller has a very humble attitude, stating himself he still has a lot to learn. Being the first indie act in over a decade to have a number one album, selling out at every venue from his first tour to present day, there is no telling what lies ahead in the near future for the young Pittsburgh artist.
As expected many eager fans came early to get close to the one and only Mac Miller, crowding into the venue as the doors opened at nine. Two of Canada’s most energetic artists took the stage to kick off the night; Mississauga producer and emcee, Rich Kidd, as well as the Vernon, BC artist SonReal. Wasting no time as they took the stage, coincidentally jumping right into the intro track “The Openers” off the album they both collaboratively released through Black Box Music, The Closers. This being the second time they have been to town in a little over a month, I can honestly say the performance they put on compared to the last was much more phenomenal, not that the one before wasn’t, though the bigger venue and the hundreds of new unsuspecting fans gave it a much better vibe. Switching from the mellow vibes of the first track right into party mode with “F’ Yeah”, SonReal and Rich Kidd did what they do best and had people go from not knowing the words at first to singing along with the hook in the process, “Ahah Yeah, There you go” SonReal smiles and says after noticing voices louden. Afterwards crashing right into “Money Money” produced by the young female beat wiz WondaGurl, throwing that cherry on top by partly flowing some of the song over Wu Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M” instrumental. Following ”Mind All Day“ , with older hits like “Already There”, the dynamic duo got everyone singing in tune all together for the chorus, SonReal ending the last of the track by holding the mic up to a girl in front, which, however, she was not in tune. “You ain’t even need auto-tune there” Rich Kidd sarcastically says.
With more people crowding inside by the minute, both “kept it going” performing other great works such as “’Don’t Stop” and my personal favorite, “Hometown”. The Closers ended their thirty minute set with “Real Life”, and signing off by taking a picture with the crowd and thanking everyone for coming out, hyping up Mac all in one. I think I got the subliminal shout out too when Rich said “shout out Wu Tang in the back” , possibly because I had the Ghost Face look going on with the hoody and puffed vest, but that’s besides the point.
After roughly a half an hour of Mac Miller chants and this weird mixture of dance music and 90’s hip hop, The Come Up took the stage and rocked their set from start to finish. Almost like a modernized Capone N Noreaga, the raw hip hop feel the Pittsburgh duo bring to the table seemingly went over well with the people there for being new artists to them. The flows Franchise and Vinny Radio craft into each song rides the beat accordingly, and it showed on stage as they jumped back and forth through a bunch of songs off their latest release Change of Plans, becoming the cause of a lot of unnecessary dancing when they were performing a few songs like “Triple That” and “How That Sound”, even getting those in attendance trance like fist pumping screaming “Most Dope”. As they took a picture with the crowd, which seems to be the new thing for artists to do to maybe ensure proceeding attention after the show if new to them?, or personalize the show for the audience?, they walked off stage letting London know the love they have for it. While the stage lights dimmed and the curtains abruptly closed, everyone knew what time it was but yet again for about a half hour…we had to wait through the same unorganized mixture of music.
Drawing nearer to 12:30, everyone knew what time it was…as the curtains drew back unveiling this huge funky caricature of himself, out walks the man of the hour…Mac Miller. A little overdressed for the beautiful weather streak we had that week in a ski hat and winter jacket, he rushes in front, “London are you ready to party!”, followed by a roar of cheers. Wasting not a second of stage time Mac continuously drops hit after hit like “Nikes on My Feet”, “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza”, and “Live Free”, fans quoting word for word like scripture at times. By now sporting a yellow headband with a Western crew neck sweater showing his love, Mac kept consistently entertaining with “Blue Slide Park” and my personal once a day jams “Smile Back” and “Best Day Ever”.
People were hopping on their friend’s shoulders just to get a glimpse of Mac Miller since everyone was at the front. Mac was attempting to quiet the crowd, which was hard to do because of the sheer amount of excited people at the Mustang Lounge. He then did a social science experiment of his own and played one half of the crowd with the other on repeating things he asks them to. Still the whole time trying to keep the room quiet…Mac jumped into some more big tracks off his first album Blue Slide Park and previous mixtapes like “Loud”, “Thoughts From A Balcony”, “America”, “Lucky Ass B*tch”, and “Déjà vu”. Asking everyone to quiet down once more he asked all the hockey fans, “You all know what team I go for right?”, answered by a thousand voices yelling “Pittsburgh” as he followed stating, “So you know I would not come out here in my home team jersey in a place where everybody represents what team..?”, this time overpoweringly answered back with the entire audience raging “GO LEAFS GO”. As a way to hype the crowd, that probably overdid it when trying to quiet them down again to get into the next song, “PlaneCarBoat” off Pink Slime, an album Mac is currently working on with Pharrell. If I had to judge the noise level on a scale of say 1-10, I would say about 50! It was turned up even more nearing the final few songs “Knock Knock”, “Frick Park Market”, and before the curtains close…”Missed Calls”.
The whole show the super loud bass and smell of body odor was almost not noticeable because of how energetic the room was, reminding me a bit of those Much Music Dance Parties you would see in commercials at times. Though with no one really leaving the front of the stage as the curtains close, you knew he was coming back out; he hasn’t performed “Donald Trump” yet. Closing out with that, he gave the fans a choice before to hear another song or a new a capella verse from his upcoming album Watching TV With the Sound Off. Ending what he recited from the album with “Y’all helped put the world in my hands…I’m giving it back”. The perfect end to the night.
Being the first time the University of Western Ontario hosted a wet/dry event, everything could not have ran smoother. I doubt anyone would have wanted to start off the 2013 year any other way.
Photography by: Nate Warren Tapper for The Come Up Show.
Review by: Colton Beausoleil for The Come Up Show.