Mac Miller The Observatory 8/6/13 On Tuesday night, the Observatory heated up to about boiling temperatures as Mac Miller and friends Vince Staples, Chance the Rapper, The Internet, and Action Bronson came to town for a stop on the Space Migration Tour. After serving up master chef Action Bronson's serving as the night's last hors d'oeuvres, an adolescent crowd broke out into several chants in a feverish anticipation of the moment Mac would present his combo of wacky faces, dances, and lyrics to the crowd.
A sound bite of, what could only be, Karl Sagan talking about the cosmos--hence the Space Migration theme--was cued by Mac's selector DJClockwork. Moments later, Mac stepped out in a blue outfit with his on-stage ace, Treejay, to start a 90-minute, set with hardly any room to breathe between songs.
After performing "Aquarium" from his new album Watching Movies With The Sound Off, Mac repeated one the song's verses a capella highlighting the supremely introspective artist he's become since the world was introduced to him almost four years ago.
The Pittsburgh native went through a few more tracks from the new album including "Red Dot Music" which warranted a second Action Bronson appearance and "O.K."--which unfortunately went without Tyler, the Creator. Odd Future would still manage to make their mark on the show though. Their funk duo, The Internet, sang and played background on a few tracks that made up the second part of Mac's set, which consisted of a drummer, a few keyboards, and a small drum machine embedded with a few buttons (which Mac thoroughly enjoyed pressing).
Instrumentation was the majority of Mac's performance, and rightfully so. After beginning the live music with the super fun "Somebody Do Somethin'," the 2011 track "Best Day Ever" took on a personal, more sensuous attitude in its live rendition.
For all the goofing Mac seems to do, it was energizing to see his antics supplemented with the showcasing of his talents on instruments -yes, instruments as in plural. Though the young fans didn't seem to appreciate it as much, it was quite a sight to see the 21 year-old go from playing the guitar behind his head, to spilling his emotions via string solo during "Remember," a dedication to Mac's deceased childhood friend. A few well-developed solos later, the crowd would find the "Frick Park Market" MC kicking his shoes off before getting behind a keyboard for the spaced out raspiness of "Youforia." And then, though probably a flex move, Mac hops behind a trap set for a short, though legitimate get down!
But much to Mac's dismay, the fans in the sold out venue were not as hyped as expected. He twice challenged the crowd, who participated most throughout the night during a cover of the Fresh Princes theme song, to go harder than the San Francisco venue he rocked the night before to little avail. "Y'all telling me you gonna let San Francisco get more hyped than y'all?"
Though thanking the crowd for helping put on such an awesome show Mac's last act before disappearing backstage was a mic drop that could be interpreted a few different ways. What is certain was the audience's inability to sing along to his new music. Perhaps OC is not yet ready to accept the new Mac Miller.
The Crowd: Young, white, kids that looked like they might grow up to be America's CEOs.
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Critical Bias: My time at this show would have been much more enjoyed had two things happened; Loaded Lux coming out to spit his gut-busting outro on "Red Dot Music" and also Mac performing the banger "Party on Fifth Ave."
Random Notebook Dump: Mac dropped to the ground unwarranted appearing like he'd just passed out. It was a real relief to see he was just trying to channel his inner James Brown -without the cape, though.
Overheard: "What's taking Mac so long to come out? It's not like he has a bunch of different costumes like Lady Gaga or something."