Mac Miller at Ogden Theatre, 7/30/13

Categories: Concert Reviews

Eric Gruneisen
Mac Miller on stage at the Ogden Theatre last night in Denver.

Mac Miller is one of rap music's fastest-rising stars, whether hip-hop likes it or not. As an independent rapper who has twice shown that fresh beats and dope rhymes can sell well, he should be celebrated. Instead the rapper is a polarizing figure. Last night's sold-out show at the Ogden Theatre showed that Denver has plenty of people who love his particular brand of rap.

But even if Miller wasn't your thing, this bill also featured a slate of newcomers, such as Vince Staples, the Internet and Chance the Rapper, as well as new stalwart Action Bronson, that attracted an early crowd. Ultimately, though, it felt like this show was a chance for Miller to flex some serious credibility and win some new fans over. In his quest to do so, last night, however, he seriously overreached and gave us a bloated performance that should have been trimmed for content.

See also: Interview: Mac Miller talks about building his fanbase organically

Eric Gruneisen
Vince Staples at the Ogden Theatre in Denver last night.

Things got under way an hour late, thanks to a power outage. Once the juice was returned, though, things quickly got started with former Odd Future member/Mac Miller protege Vince Staples. Staples is clearly thrilled to have Broke, his new project, out and generating a buzz. He shouted out Larry Fisherman, gave several "I fuck with Denver"s up, and gave a quality if not compelling presentation. For a newcomer, he held it down.

Eric Gruneisen
The Internet at the Ogden Theatre last night.

The Internet came on quickly after Staples and seemed overwhelmed and unprepared to play this crowd. Syd tha Kyd is usually a mesmerizing presence in front of the band, but this night, she was drowning. A polite and bored audience waited patiently through sound troubles on stage and a mix in the room that sounded like laptop speakers. Beyond technical difficulties, the set kind of just laid there waiting for it all to be over. Perhaps the Internet should have opened? Regardless, this was not the best night for the group.

Eric Gruneisen
Chance the Rapper at the Ogden Theatre last night.

Chance the Rapper bounded on stage so quickly he almost slid right off the other side. The crowd gave him one of the warmest receptions of the night. Hard not to like a guy who just exudes positivity. His Kid Cudi influences were mos' def on display, but the game can use as many introspective rappers that dwell on heavy issues and like to sing as possible.

Eric Gruneisen
Chance the Rapper at the Ogden Theatre last night.

Of course Chance did the exhilarating juke of "Good Ass Intro" (and even treated the crowd to a lil' footwork). The highlight, however, was his Slum Village flip "Everybody's Something," which is just a beautiful song. "Favorite Song" and "Juice" did not make the setlist and were sorely missed. Chance feels like rap's next big star in the making.

Eric Gruneisen
Action Bronson at the Ogden Theatre last night.

Action Bronson was up next, and he doesn't have the most captivating stage presence. As a result, during his set, there was lots of zoning out from the crowd. Bronson was sometimes thrilling on the mic (mostly a cappella), but more often than not, he sounded like a future also-ran.

Eric Gruneisen
Action Bronson at the Ogden Theatre last night.

Bronson's on that Queens shit real tough, and on stage, that style of rap can get real boring, real fast. The set left miles between happy fans and people taking selfies and group shots on their phones. When the highlight of your set is the out-of-shape Vin Diesel look-alike homie yelling random gangsta's time to dream up a new stage show.

Keep reading for a review of Mac Miller's set

Location Info


Ogden Theatre

935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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Blayne McMillan
Blayne McMillan

I prefer Mac to Windows. So I guess you could say I'm pro-Mac.

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