The Orpheum Theater was full of excitement as Mac Miller and his three opening acts took the stage by storm Saturday. As expected, the sold-out crowd packed the Orpheum. Before the doors opened, early guests lined the sidewalk for more than two blocks, and when the doors finally opened, people packed the first floor and balcony so tightly that no one could take a step or raise their hands without bumping the next spectator. The stage was set up with two DJ tables and a large centered alarm clock with Mac Miller’s new album name, GO:OD AM. On the sides were posters of his album cover photo, depicting Mac Miller’s obnoxiously yawning face. Rappers The Come-Up Boys, Domo Genesis and GoldLink, each partnered with their own DJ, revved the audience with a plethora of bass-bumping singles. And Mac Miller most certainly made the concert a highlight of the University of Wisconsin-Madison homecoming weekend.
The Come-Up Boys, a duo of artists Franchise and Vinny Radio, with DJ Pete Butta, were first to open. Just like any rap concert, the DJ was charged with raising the audience's energy before the rappers ran onstage. DJ Pete Butta used popular recent singles, like "Know Yourself" by Drake and "Alright" by Kendrick Lamar, to serve the audience well. When the duo emerged, the crowd was already shouting. The two rappers danced back and forth across the stage reciting lyrics in unison, and would sometimes stop to rock to the music with the crowd. Shortly after getting started, the Pennsylvanian rappers informed the audience that this was only their second time performing in Wisconsin, recalling the first time in 2011 at The Rave in Milwaukee. This time it was Madison who treated the rappers well with supportive applause. Before their last song, The Come-Up Boys got more support when Franchise asked everyone to raise their lighters as they payed tribute for friends who died two days prior.
The concert simmered down a bit for Pete Butta to break down his setup so DJ The Alchemist could take over. The Alchemist followed Pete Butta's lead to energize the crowd, but according to Domo Genesis’s boisterous remarks from behind the curtain, the energy was not yet enough to call the rapper out. Domo Genesis continued to challenge how excited the audience really was while The Alchemist played before finally charging onstage. He was already very lively, spouting a verse and almost catching everyone’s attention off guard, but the crowd immediately nodded along with the imperceptible lyrics. When he finished the first song, Domo Genesis took a moment to teach everyone the repetitive line for an obvious transition. The crowd was almost too ready to chant, “Hot soup in my motherfuckin bowl!” over and over again. Seemingly no one could resist shouting along, especially the fan in the side balcony flailing to the rhythm, even before the beat dropped with monstrous bass. Domo Genesis must have really felt the awesome vibe. In another transition, Domo Genesis turned around to take a selfie with the crowd. Hands immediately went up as everyone tried to get a piece of the frame.
After the second opening act, the concert again toned down, but the noise didn’t stay down for long. From an unknown source, everyone began chanting, “Mac! Mac! Mac!” with no noticeable intention to stop. But GoldLink and his DJ were clearly unphased, catching the audience’s energy at a peak and raising the bar even higher. By this point, the music was so loud that you could hardly understand the DJ when he said his name, but attention was all on the music. Everyone was compelled to dance and rock to the old and new pump-up rap party songs like “Jump” by Kriss Kross, “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool and “Work REMIX (feat. ASAP Rocky, Trinidad James, Schoolboy Q, French Montana)” by ASAP Ferg. GoldLink seemed to have fun wildly dancing across the stage with endless energy, and the audience followed along. Midway, an unknown person from backstage ran onstage to join the fun, his face covered by the blinding colored lights and a hood—perhaps Mac Miller himself was making a preview. Nonetheless, GoldLink rocked out for so long that you may have wondered if he came to perform or just party. After a handful of familiar songs, GoldLink finally settled centerstage to go into his own music. But the dancing soon recommenced. In a recent interview with NPR, GoldLink stated that he wants to create music for people to dance to; he most certainly brought the appropriate vibe for the concert.
When GoldLink finished, the crowd cheered for the night’s main act. The stage crew steadily came out to break down the two additional DJ stands. The process took much longer than anyone would have liked, and a gentleman from the balcony began the chanting for Mac Miller once again. Everyone became anxious, but it only made Mac Miller’s emergence that much more momentous. First you heard the music, then came a misguiding spotlight and finally out ran Mac Miller from the opposite side of the stage. He rapped two whole songs with a gleeful expression before introducing himself and acknowledging his gratitude for those who came. The giant alarm clock where the DJ played began to glow Mac Miller’s album title. The lights repeatedly changed colors while catching everyone in the audience. Cheering never stopped, cellphones were forever raised and petite girlfriends were constantly lifted for a view above everyone’s waving hands. Unlike the acts prior, not one person was seated.
Mac Miller not only featured songs from his new album, GO:OD AM, but past work as well, to which much of the audience could sing along. He silenced all music so that everyone could voice the rhythm to his popular single “Donald Trump,” before bringing in the DJ. Mac Miller featured over ten songs for his entire performance, jumping back and forth between old music and new songs from his album. The rapper occupied the stage for over an hour with the crowd not dropping their excitement for a second. The opening acts did a stupendous job energizing the crowd, and Mac Miller fantastically carried everyone home.
The concert was a success. With a full house, fantastic opening acts and a popular artist, what more could you ask for? Mac Miller made a significant impression in his performance, and kudos also go out to The Come-Up Boys, Domo Genesis, GoldLink and their awesome supportive DJs. Madison looks forward to another show like this one.