“If I ever leave Seattle, I am coming here and living with you,” Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) declared at the end of his set Saturday at the State Fair grandstand. Earlier in the set, he recounted – and seemed to be bragging about -- performing at the “tiny stage” of the local Soundset hip-hop festival. He also said, “You guys have been repping us from the very beginning.”
It was nice to know he hadn’t forgotten his early, pre-top 40 local support from the Twin Cities. The State Fair, on the other hand, has only been bringing hip-hop to the grandstand for two years after decades of shunning it (Vanilla Ice’s 1991 concert being the one dubious exception). Like last year’s Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller show, Saturday’s lineup of Soundsets past. And like last year’s show, it was the fair’s hottest-selling ticket of the year, sold out with more than 16,000 fans.
As is recounted in the full review for Tuesday’s newspaper, Macklemore had fun with the fair environment. After opening with “Ten Thousand Hours,” he told the crowd, “You made it through the rain, the lightning … and the deep-fried Oreos.”
Brooklyn rap vet Talib Kweli, the second of three acts on the bill, didn’t make out so well amid the lightning threats that caused the grandstand to be evacuated for nearly an hour. He squeezed in a half-hour set after the delay, wham-bamming fans with such lyrical as “Make It Classy” and “Get By.” Chicago-reared opener Chance the Rapper got to do his full set, but it proved to be time poorly wasted. He spent most of the time talking, not rapping – ironic, given his stage name – and reduced such choice songs as “Cocoa Butter Kisses” to mere snippets.
Macklemore ate up a lot of his time with non-musical activities, too, which limited him to only nine songs – one of which he performed twice. Here’s his set list:
Ten Thousand Hours / Thrift Shop / Same Love / Can’t Hold Us / White Walls / Wing$ / And We Danced / Irish Celebration / Can’t Hold Us (second time)