Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have built up some considerable goodwill going into new album The Heist—not just with the 7,000 fans attending this sold-out show at the WaMu Theater, but also with onetime haters like myself. "Same Love" applied Mack's righteously sincere oratory to the worthy cause of marriage equality, then "Thrift Shop" recalled that he could be incredibly charming and convincing while just having fun rapping. But for all of Mack's nimble, breathless raps and Lewis' beautiful, dark, but not-quite-twisted productions on The Heist, much of it falls into the same old sanctimonious traps. There's the preachy false dilemma between Christianity and alcohol on "Neon Cathedral" with Allen Stone, the rehashed syrup-to-sobriety struggle of "Starting Over" with Ben Bridwell. The latter does some interesting internal wrangling about motivations—exploiting one's backstory versus sharing it to help others?—but better is when Mack confronts his rap cred demons and his riches-to-riches triumph head-on and with good humor, as in "Thrift Shop" or the Cadillac cruising "White Walls." With DEE-1, Xperience. ERIC GRANDY

Fri., Oct. 12, 8 p.m., 2012

 
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