by Jessica Garza-Hutmacher
“I like your hair.” Ben Haggerty, commonly known as Macklemore, told me, just another person in line waiting for an autograph, that he liked MY hair. I was already in shock from the performance, but that pushed me over the edge.
November 16, a quiet but windy Wednesday, I left campus with the feeling of excitement. I went home, got dressed hours before curtain call, and waited with anticipation. In a few hours I would be watching one of the greatest artists of my generation.
My ticket said row “T” seat “1,” the boonies. Instead, I went up to the front, smack in the middle, a yard away from the stage. I wanted, I needed to be close. These concerts are crazy and so energetic; sitting would have been a waste.
I waited, for what seemed like an eternity for those lights to dim in the sweaty uncomfortable mosh that had formed around me. I was in the pit and wasn’t leaving until the end of the show.
There were two groups opening for the night, Xperience and SOL. Both are up-and-coming artists, still making their way into the industry. The audience waited, respectfully, through the track lists. I couldn’t wait to hear SOL, for his beats are phenomenal and his lyrics speak the truth. After his last track, ”20/20”, it was time.
The lights went to black, the smell of sweat surrounded me, the pressure of bodies overwhelmed me, and the excitement was my drug. A familiar face moved onto the stage, the under-rated, incredible producer, Ryan Lewis.
Screaming, shrieks and adrenaline pulsed through the pit. Next came the piano, a track that I was familiar with. “Make the Money” had begun, muffled by squeals, as Macklemore came running onto the stage.
I admit I was one amongst those squeaky sounds, for his presence and music took over my mind, body and soul. The piercing lyrics spoke to me. “Make the money don’t let the money make you, change the game don’t let the game change you.” Macklemore’s veins were prominent, as they are every performance, as he rapped his Northwest hip-hop.
I slowly wedged myself through the last yard and made my way to the very front. I could see the sweat run down Macklemore’s face as he enlightened us all with his stories, music and dance moves. Occasionally he electrifies the audience by asking us to repeat after him. “Say… Bellingham” to which, the mesmerized, audience echoed back thunderously.
With our hands in the air and our vocal chords straining we smiled and danced. I was captivated by what Macklemore had accomplished. We were all there to see him, to hear him. He was following his dream, and inspiring hundreds.
It was coming to an end, for I had seen it done before. His alter ego, known to anyone who calls him or herself a fan, emerged. “And We Danced” began. Roaring through the theatre, I, along with the entire building, began to sing along.
The entire show was nothing less than spectacular. After closing with his popular, “Irish Celebration” and after an encore piece, we moved the mosh pit to the foyer of the theatre. I waited another hour in a perspiration filled hole, waiting to get a signature. My last words to him were, “I like your hair too.”