Being sceptical about seeing Lil Wayne, and Mac Miller in concert isn’t a hard. Not only did Lil Wayne cancel his Europe Tour back in March due to health concerns, but in recent years, his music has not quite been what it once was. Independently signed artist Mac Miller, on the other hand, is less upbeat and arguably more suited to ‘at home’ listening rather than being performed on stage. His live radio freestyles have always left something to be desired, and more often than not, he seems to be pretty faded. Nevertheless, thousands of their fans flooded to Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome to support them.
Some hip-hop stars are great artists but poor performers. Thankfully, Mac Miller is not in that category. With a commanding presence on the stage, performing songs from his newest album Watching Movies with the Sound Off (2013), he knew how to make the most of his music. His set list emphasized the peaks and troughs, playing more mellow songs like ‘Red Dot Music’ followed by bangers like ‘Donald Trump’, simultaneously calling on his audience to ‘throw their hands in the motherfucking air’. Nearing the end of his performance, he teased his fans with a Bob Marley tribute, which then morphed into a cover of ‘one of his favourite Biggie tracks’. This was a real treat; it really highlighted his musical talent and diversity. My scepticism about Miller definitely dissipated after this incredible performance.
Nerves were riding high as the crowd waited in anticipation for Lil Wayne’s main performance. 45 minutes of waiting left thoughts of him cancelling again flowed through people’s minds. However, the black curtains finally unveiled to exhibit a glorious skate board park with colossal ‘I’m not a Human Being II’ visuals supplying the perfect backdrop. Dramatically riding on a skateboard, Weezy dropped ‘Blunt Blowin.’ His DJ took key position on the left at the top of the half pipe, while the live band orchestrated ceremonies from the right. The drums, powerful guitar and heavy bass utilized Wayne’s aggressive flow as he ran energetically up and down the stage. This was followed by the military sounding ‘6 Foot 7 Foot’ enslaving the crowd into a mosh pit frenzy. The mood was electric.
For an artist with 11 solo albums, it’s impossible to play everything. However, that said, he nailed the set list. Switching up the tempo by playing ‘How to Love’ ‘for the ladies’ followed by head bangers like ‘Get Money’ ending with ‘Lollipop’ and, my personal favourite, ‘She Will’. He exited the stage with thunderous applause. But this was not the end; Weezy had a few more treats installed for his adoring fans. The interlude allowed DJ 45 to show off his skills. For 15 minutes, he played an eclectic mix of tunes including the likes of DMX, Drake and Snoop Dogg. He kept the crowd jumping by playing clip after clip, never dropping the whole song.
There was a long pause to build up the atmosphere before Lil Wayne emphatically stormed back onto the stage with ‘A Milli’. He was evidently getting hot, as he tossed his t-shirt into the crowd of snatching fans. The man of the hour then called out his surrogate father, rapper Birdman, and Mack Maine to drop Rich Gang’s ‘Tapout’. Following that, Weezy addressed his fans directly saying ‘First I love God, Second I love my fans, and Third I love my fans’. The response: a variety of screams from the fans. He was pleasantly humble.
Solemnly, he went to say that over the last few years he has received some criticism. Suddenly he yelled, ‘But I don’t care as long as my bitches love me’ and dropped ‘Love Me’. Everyone went nuts as the bass blasted, rattling us to our cores.
I personally find encores a bit cliché so I wasn’t too disappointed when he did not come out again. Having seen Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and Snoop Dogg all live in concert before, I would have to put Lil Wayne’s performance up there, if not, at the top. If you ever get the opportunity to see either Mac Miller or Lil Wayne live, then don’t hesitate. They will not disappoint.
For all those hip-hop fans out there you can also catch the following artists at the following venues, see below:
Jay-Z – Oct 29th – Ziggo Dome
Ryan Leslie – Oct 30th – Melkweg
J Cole – Nov 22nd – Heineken Music Hall
Pusha T- Nov 23rd – Melkweg
The Game – Dec 8th – Melkweg
Kid Ink – Dec 12th – Melkweg
Also check out my hip-hop sound cloud, review the best contemporary hip-hop every week: https://soundcloud.com/ed-little