Thrift shoppers, partygoers, crowd surfers, rap lovers and anyone else looking for a really, really, really good time were packed into the Elmen Center last Friday night. Macklemore reminded the crowd they only had one chance to live April 5, 2013.
“It is up to us to make this day the best that it could possibly be,” Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, said.
Doors opened at 7 p.m., and the gym’s bleachers and floor were quickly packed with over 4,000 fans.
Opening acts by DJ Sidereal, sophomore Darren “D. Glove” Glover and Sioux Falls’ rap group, Soulcrate, led up to the moment “The Heist” began pouring out from the speakers and Macklemore and DJ/producer Ryan Lewis appeared in front of the crowd.
“The Heist” is the first song on Macklemore and Lewis’s album of the same name, which reached Gold status just two days before their performance at the Elmen.
After making it clear this was going to be a special night, Macklemore, his crew, and thousands of ecstatic fans made it their goal to remember this moment for the rest of their lives.
Before performing the album’s number-one hit, “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore looked to the crowd for fans who agree 50 dollars is too much for a t-shirt.
Sophomore Mariah Greenhoff spotted many fans in thrift shop gear.
“I saw people in overalls, cat sweaters, fur coats and jean vests, and I was wearing a fringy shirt,” she said. “I think thrift stores in Sioux Falls have never had better business than this week.”
Macklemore noticed the crowd’s efforts to live by his used-clothing-anthem, too.
“There’s an orange turtleneck—I see that,” he said with his iconic, easy smile. “It was probably a mistake to wear that to a hip-hop show, but that’s alright. I respect the fact that you did that.”
He then borrowed a brown coat with a fur collar from an audience member, putting it on and raising his arms victoriously, then began cracking jokes:
“This, my South Dakota friends, is a nice jacket,” Macklemore said. “This thing smells like a grandfather that was so comfortable in his rocking chair, he had chewing tobacco and was too lazy to spit it into a cup so he started spitting it into his jacket. I respect this jacket for that reason. It takes a man to wear a jacket that smells as bad as this one.”
He pretended to steal the coat and walk backstage until the familiar “what, what’s” started blaring through the speakers, followed by the saxophone riff that defines “Thrift Shop.”
Later in the show, Macklemore introduced his hit “Same Love” in a speech that focused on gay rights and equality, calling it the biggest civil rights movement yet. The crowd of primarily college students roared in agreement to his powerful words:
“I believe that no state, that no government, that no institution, that no religion, that no other person can tell you who you love is wrong,” Macklemore said. “In 2013, it’s time that we progress as a country; that we let go of the fear that has been passed on from generation to generation to generation; of the hatred, of the prejudice, of the intolerance.
“[‘Same Love’] aims to squash all of that.”
“Same Love” was Greenhoff’s favorite part of the concert. “I love the song because of the message with it,” she said. “[Macklemore] is so inspirational.”
Greenhoff also appreciated Macklemore’s enthusiasm and interaction with the audience. “He took someone’s coat and threw Sour Patch Kids at us,” she said. “He is a phenomenal live performer. The crowd loved him– their reaction was better than any other concert I’ve been to.”
That night was the night, am I right?