Seattle hip-hop act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis put on a kingmaking performance Friday night inside Portland’s Roseland Theater as part of MusicFest Northwest 2011. The show had everything you could ask for: incredible music, incredible crowd energy, and incredible charisma from Macklemore.
Prior to Friday night, I had heard a few tracks from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis I enjoyed. If I had any doubts about attending the show, Portland weekly newspaper Willamette Week ended them by blasting Macklemore on its cover this week. The music and the hype were enough to bring me and 1,200 others out.
The crowd reaction two songs in was about as deafening as I have heard in a venue this size. You would have sworn Macklemore was hip-hop Jesus incarnate. I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first. White rapper hype can be deceiving, especially in a place as vanilla as Portland. But Macklemore earned every ounce of the crowd’s love.