Concert review: Mac Miller hits The Ritz Ybor refreshed and better than ever

The Pittsburgh rapper played a high-energy show at The Ritz Ybor this past Tue., Dec. 1.


"This the kind of music that make white people mad. This the kind of shit that blows your speakers out, this the shit you dream about." Ironically, this is the kind of music that Mac Miller makes. He's worked hard to get where he's at and he maintains that he's not here because he's white, he's here because he's tight. And the Pittsburgh rapper proved it when his "GO:OD AM Tour" hit the Ritz on Tuesday night in a flashy, bombastic blast of hip hop.

Mac Miller has come a long way from being "Easy Mac" with the cheesy raps. After starting his career as an internet sensation then striving to be taken seriously as an indie artist, Mac Miller can finally say 'good morning' to the next phase of his career with major label debut GO:OD AM. Along the way, he's dealt with depression and drug addiction, and while he may not be completely sober, he's in a much healthier place than his drugged-out Faces days. And he's not some wet-behind-the-ears kid making music for viral audiences any longer. He's reached a point where he can enjoy his success and contemplate life instead of focusing on the negative. He's finally waking up from this long night and with a new, balanced perspective, he's proven ready to go. And he just keeps getting better and better.

After being on the road since the middle of September, Mac Miller finally made his first stop in Florida at the Ritz Ybor to a venue that was rather packed for a Tuesday night, and he didn't seem tired from his travels at all. Taking the stage for nearly 90 minutes doused in vibrant lights and backed by a colossal alarm clock, Mac Miller's energy was through the roof. He demanded the same spirit and participation from the crowd, and they were not afraid to indulge him. Mac only set two rules for the night: Whenever he said, "One band," everyone was charged with chanting back, "One sound"; and when he said, "I've changed," the shouted-back reply was, "A lot." The intense energy and positivee vibes were consistent throughout the night, even when Mac slowed it down to perform a few love songs, "ROS" and "Objects in the Mirror," in the middle of his set.

Though the tour is named after his latest LP, Mac's peppered his set with earlier material, opening with "Loud" — a hit off his 2012 Macadelic mixtape and followed with "Watching Movies" from 2013's Watching Movies with the Sound Off. Throughout the night, he continuously weaved older songs in with tunes off GO:OD AM, doing "Red Dot Music" before launching into "100 Grandkids."

Mac Miller can rap his ass off like it's nobody's business. Besides the one time that he let the crowd rap the first verse to his song "Donald Trump," Mac was never too far from the mic. For someone who has been on tour for nearly three months straight, he didn't seem to get winded and he never relied on backtracks to carry him. He even showed off a little, spitting some verses a capella and never missing a bar, most notably the second verse from GO:OD AM standout "Clubhouse."

Mac closed the show with the ultimate turn-up jam, "When in Roam," amid dousing the crowd in smoke machine haze and stirring everyone into a frenzy. Well after the song's conclusion, the crowd continued to chant fiercely for Mac to come back. He obliged, imitating Stone Cold Steve Austin's infamous double beer chug before launching into "Best Day Ever" and closing the show on a positive note. 

The evening's support acts managed to hold their own, too. Florida native Choo Jackson kicked things off, warming the crowd rather capably for an emerging artist before Michael Christmas hit the stage. He was just happy to meet and perform for a new group of fans, claiming that it made him feel like a Pokémon master to keep the crowd going. And charismatic Atlanta rap duo EarthGang delivered a chaotic and intense set yet managed to give off a fun and mellow vibe, unafraid to hop off the stage and get right into the thick of the crowd.

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