Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Tinie Tempah
TSB Bank Arena, Wellington, March 12
Hot off the criticism that they didn't deserve their rap Grammys, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis proved haters wrong with a stellar performance in Wellington. Having British rapper Tinie Tempah as opener was a good move, whose natural disaster-themed hits (Earthquake and Tsunami) got things going with Pass Out and Miami 2 Ibiza leaving the crowd well-hyped for the headliner.
Not surprisingly, No 1 hit single Thrift Shop , went-off with a bang, the odd glitter-bomb amplifying the song's best bits (and who does not love a good glitter bomb?).
It is no doubt that producer Ryan Lewis takes the back seat on stage during the performance, but it would be hard to compete for the spotlight with someone like Ben Haggerty - the Macklemore half of the duo.
Haggerty has mastered the perfect mix of charm and cheek - a bit like Robbie Williams back in his heyday but with a bit more swag.While his in between track chat wandered slightly at times, it was mostly either thought-provoking or utterly hilarious, almost creating his own hybrid genre of ''stand-up monologue hip-hop''.
The venue was filled with a collective feeling of celebration and harmony as pro-gay rights track Same Love was preformed, albeit minus the presence of female vocalist Mary Lambert.
The feeling was topped-off with a shout-out from Macklemore himself congratulating New Zealand for legalising same sex marriage last year.He captivated and almost silenced the crowed with an intense and passionate rap-solo sans any music - which he said was the first song he recorded after finding sobriety.
Can't Hold Us was probably the peak of the entire performance - Macklemore's crowd-surfing adding to the hype.
Not many men could rock a head-to-toe Mariarchi outfit and still look just a bit delicious, but Macklemore rocked his signature White Walls costume and even a grey mullet for the And We Danced encore.
He admitted''playing a little cricket'' earlier in the day, skinny-dipping in the Wellington harbour, played on the New Zealand-Australia sibling rivalry and told the story of how he met Lewis on MySpace.
The added pressure was probably a gift in disguise as Macklemore and Lewis delivered a very entertaining and honest performance which proved why they won those awards.
- The Dominion Post