Mac Miller gets personal at Spring Concert

Despite complications with contracts and finances, Activities Commission did its best to ensure that Geneseo’s Spring Concert would be a show that the student body wanted to see. The number one pick of AC’s third survey, rapper Mac Miller, headlined the concert on Saturday April 12 with Aesop Rock opening the show. According to Concerts Coordinator junior Juli Grygier, 1,339 tickets were sold for the concert this year, a decrease from last year’s 2,100 for MGMT.

At the start of the show, Aesop Rock emerged to cheers from the snapback-clad audience. He shared the stage with DJ Abilities and fellow rapper Rob Sonic, working together to entertain and engage the crowd despite the fact that the majority of the audience didn’t seem to know many of the songs.

Known for his abstract lyricism, Aesop Rock delivered his rhymes with precision and confidence. His lyrics may have been unconventional, but the music behind them was typical for rap. Most people seemed to enjoy waving to their hands and swaying to the beat of uniquely titled songs like “Dokken Rules,” “Cycles to Gehenna” and “Homemade Mummy.”

Sonic complemented Aesop Rock’s vocals well, whether rapping with him or backing him up. DJ Abilities worked intensely on his laptop and turntable throughout the set. The group had a very casual, laid-back presence – Aesop Rock was dressed in a flannel and jeans, Sonic in a bandana and DJ Abilities in a hoodie and t-shirt – but by no means did they lack energy in their craft.

When Mac Miller took the stage, the energy in the room skyrocketed. His set was packed with floor-shaking bass and strobe lights, waking up anyone who stopped paying attention during Aesop’s set. Working with DJ Clockwork, Miller exuded an enthusiasm obvious to anyone in attendance; he barely stopped grinning the entire show.

Known for his eccentric side, Miller chose to don a floppy blue and white boat hat, a green jacket and rings on almost every finger. His normal speech was fairly incomprehensible at times – slightly slurred and filled with laughter. When it came to his rapping, however, Miller’s vocal clarity and articulation increased dramatically.

Miller powered through a solid mix of songs. There were the infectiously upbeat tracks like “Man in the Hat” and “Knock Knock,” the edgier “Lucky Ass Bitch” and “Loud,” and the mellow “Objects in the Mirror” and “Best Day Ever.” He even departed from rapping to sing a stripped-down piano cover of his love ballad “Youforia.”

He returned for an encore with – as expected – fan-favorite “Donald Trump,” but he also unexpectedly chose to include one extra, new song.

“I didn’t want to leave y’all wanting more,” he said.

Ultimately, Miller was focused on connecting and engaging with his fans. He happily snatched up a mixtape from an audience member. He made jokes about boobs and handjobs. He adopted a more serious tone to talk about the solace he finds in music.

“We need music in our lives,” he said. “Music is important, music is beautiful.”

Whether you loved the concert or hated it, what Miller proclaimed is true. Music provides a temporary escape from the stress in our lives, and Aesop Rock and Miller sure as hell wanted to provide a fun one for those in attendance.

Correction: The original version of this article stated that the sale of 1,339 tickets for the Mac Miller concert was an increase from 1,077 tickets sold for the MGMT concert last spring. The sale of 1,339 tickets for the Mac Miller concert was actually a decrease from 2,100 sold for the MGMT concert.