Macklemore and Ryan Lewis bring ‘The Heist’ to Eastern

By Al Stover, Eagle Life Editor

Macklemore performs on stage at Reese Court. Photo by Aaron Malmoe
Macklemore performs on stage at Reese Court. Photo by Aaron Malmoe


After the thousands of Macklemore chants faded, the lights went out and cheers filled the air, followed by the sound of a trumpet.

Once the trumpet stopped, a slender man wearing a blue jacket over a blue tank top grabbed the microphone and began singing. Halfway through his song, he addressed the crowd.

“Eastern, welcome to ‘The Heist.’”

This is how the Seattle-born musician Macklemore began his set when he and Ryan Lewis, who is from Spokane, came to Eastern May 30.

Sponsored by Eagle Entertainment and ASEWU, the concert was attended by over 3,000 students who had waited for the musician to come since fall 2012. There were over 22 staff, security guards and volunteers who helped build the stage and run the concert.

According to Berto Cerrillo, the adviser for campus programs who got on stage and thanked the audience and the volunteers before the start of the concert, this was one of the biggest events he has put together and it was all for the students.

Macklemore and Lewis performed many of their songs from their studio album “The Heist,” including “Can’t Hold Us” and “Same Love.”

In addition to singing, Macklemore interacted with the crowd. He commented on the style of clothing worn by Eastern students before spotting a student in the second level bleachers wearing a fur coat. The musician requested the fur coat to be surfed through the crowd and onto the stage.

As he picked up the coat, the crowd began chanting, “Put it on.” Once he did, he exited the stage, which resulted in a chorus of boos. What seemed like Macklemore calling it a night, turned into the opening of his song “Thrift Shop.” During the song, he was joined onstage by Wanz, who would later go and dance with the crowd on the floor, and Swoop.

Once he was finished with “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore had the crowd pass back the coat to its owner.

Other ways Macklemore interacted with the crowd included having a brownie eating contest between one girl who was celebrating her birthday and another wearing a polar bear cap and crowd walking into the audience.

There were several students on the floor, waving back to their friends on the bleachers. Sara Kruger and her friends stood close to the front, wearing their black T-shirts that read, “Can we go thrift shopping?” on the front and, “or bar hopping?” on the back. According to Kruger, she and her friends made the shirts in hopes of getting the musician’s attention.

Kruger, like the rest of the audience, was excited to see Macklemore come to EWU because he is “so talented.”

Student Mitchell Erickson, wearing a brown coat with furry cuffs and neck, was excited to see Macklemore and Lewis on stage.

“I feel [he] represents pop culture in the Northwest, and I am excited to see him represent Eastern Washington,” Erickson said.

In addition to Macklemore and Lewis, the disc jockey Ricky Frezko played music for the crowd, while they danced and sang to the tune of songs like House of Pain’s “Jump Around” and Lil’ Jon and LMFAO’s “Shots.” After Frezko, the band Eclectic Approach came onstage to warm up the crowd. Besides playing their own music, they performed covers of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters” and Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do It.”

For Jowed Hadeed, singer of Eclectic Approach, it was an “amazing experience” opening for Macklemore. He said Macklemore was an idol to him and his band because of how he, like Eclectic Approach, is from the Pacific Northwest and came up on his own in the music scene.

“We’ve played Jimmy Kimmel and that was a big opportunity, but this was bigger,” said Hadeed.

Halfway through his set, Macklemore had announced that EWU was the last stop on the spring college tour, which he then confirmed after performing one final song for the audience.

“There is no better place to end the college tour than here,” Macklemore said.