CONCERT REVIEW: BLUEPRINT, MACKLEMORE AND RYAN LEWIS AT SCHUBAS (CHICAGO)
Ohio hip-hop artist Blueprint along with Seattle’s Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) and Ryan Lewisburned the house down on Saturday with their sold out show at Schubas Tavern. The 18+ show was filled with avid hip-hop fans arms stretched straight up in the air, waving back and forth.
Blueprint’s fifth album, Adventures In Counter-Culture drops April 5th on Rhymesayers Entertainment. Along with Bobby Silver on the bass and producer/DJ Rare Groove they rocked the crowd with old and new songs. “Disco died, but I’m gonna bring that shit back. With lyrics, “Move your body/want you to be my queen”. It wasn’t so Diana Ross playing in a roller rink with a disco ball, but more sensual, with a solid beat and a catchy, thumping electric bass.
As the piano instrumental introduction to “Radio-Inactive” started a fan next to me grabbed his friend by the shoulder, shaking him, jumping up and down. “Yes! Yes! Yes! This is the shit!” Which seemed all too fitting for a song that has lyrics, “Thank God for every fan/ Every single listener/Who told me to make the art”. High-fiving fans after every song, Blueprint strapped on an electric guitar and said, “You know, every rock star wants to be a rapper. And every rapper wants to be a rock star.” Playing “So Alive” for the eager crowd danced and waved their hands up in the air.
A little after midnight with loud trumpets producer Ryan Lewis and Seattle hip-hop artist, Macklemore took the stage. With an enthusiastic, “God damn Chicago is in the mother fucking building!” Macklemore fist bumped fans in the front of the stage. “If you love hip-hop music and hip-hop music has affected you, I want you to put your hands up in the air!” He said just before he played “Said Hey”.
Not even a small power outage on stage with Ryan Lewis could stop the insane amount of energy at Schubas. The trumpet player provided comical music while Macklemore addressed the crowd with “Do I have a commitment from everyone in this mother fucking room that we are going to get sweaty as shit tonight?” Performing “Otherside”, “Wings” and “The Town” to name a few Macklemore pulled out an acid wash denim jacket. This was made complete by the attached fringe he attached on the underarms and a giant David Bowie face a la The Labyrinth.
The best fan moment was when they pulled a girl on stage to give Ryan Lewis a birthday kiss as the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to him. The only rules for this participate were: you can’t be married, you have to be at least 18, you can’t have a boyfriend…that was in the room. Just before the end of the show Macklemore said he wanted to get his friend from the UK for his final song. The stage lights dimmed as he exited the stage. Ryan Lewis played some beats in the dark for a while. Macklemore then returned to the stage as Sir Raven Bowie. An alter ego of his dressed as David Bowie’s Character, Jareth from The Labyrinth. The performed “Irish Celebration” for the finale. The crowd went wild and so did Macklemore, climbing on top of the speakers and the trumpeter pulling out a ladder from stage right, wedging it on stage and climbing it. All while playing, I might add.
The energy, charisma and pure show that Blueprint, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis give on stage can not be matched. Tour dates for Blueprint can be found on the Rhymesayers website. Tour dates for Macklemore can be found at Bengal Yucky. Or you can see them both at Soundset Festival in Shakopee, MN. Ticket information can be found here.