A fashion trend emerged Sunday at Bumbershoot on teenagers and twentysomethings: the “My City’s Filthy” shirt, a verse from the song, “The Town,” the cut that launched Ben Haggerty’s (better known as Macklemore) stardom with producer Ryan Lewis. The slew of Macklemore merch foreshadowed the record-setting attendance for the duo’s show later that evening on the Bumbershoot Mainstage.
With respect to the performance itself, this was rather typical for a hometown show: an accompaniment of wind and string sections; guest vocalists; they opened with “Intro” and closed with “Irish Celebration”; Haggerty introduced “Crew Cuts” with Haggerty’s custom made, Jareth from Labyrinth, fringed jean jacket; and, like always, the crowd went wild. In spite of all these similarities with past performances, and other than the cameo by former Seattle Supersonics star Shawn Kemp, this was an extraordinary performance — just under a year ago, there had never been a headlining local hip hop show at The Paramount theater, and this year, the unsigned indie rapper, never once acknowledged on Pitchfork.com, blew fans away and transcended even most local media expectations, packing Key Arena to capacity. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have blown up.