Last Friday, Mac Miller played at the Hub as part of his Blue Slide Park Tour.
A.S. Program Board sponsored the independent Pittsburgh artist’s show, where Mac Miller promoted his new album, also titled Blue Slide Park.
Special guest Casey Veggies, former member of Los Angeles hip-hop collective Odd Future, opened the concert at around 9 p.m. Rap duo People Under the Stairs followed, coming back to Santa Barbara after playing last May’s annual Chilla Vista festival.
The audience grew impatient as the show failed to produce its much-anticipated headliner until about 10:30 p.m., when the 19-year-old rapper took the stage with youthful swagger to perform “Best Day Ever.”
“We gon’ do a little rap show for you all tonight,” Mac Miller announced before launching into “Good Evening,” which segued into “Ride Around.” The second song was performed with an impressive a capella interlude, spit in rapid-fire rhyme.
“Santa Barbara, if you came to party tonight, I need you to make some motherfucking noise!” Miller implored the crowd to action as the Owl City-sampled beat of “Don’t Mind if I Do” dropped to immediate crowd applause.
The artist shared a brief dialogue afterward, addressing criticism that his lyrical content pertains only to girls, weed and alcohol.
“First of all, I don’t see the big problem with girls, weed and alcohol,” he responded playfully before dedicating “The Spins,” “a song about girls, weed and alcohol,” to those very critics.
A performance of “Live Free,” a track from one of Miller’s earlier mixtapes, The High Life, was followed by “I’ll Be There,” from his Best Day Ever mixtape. Then, describing the elation of buying new kicks, while rocking a fresh pair of black Nike Air’s, he descended into an iconic sample of “The World is Yours,” by Nas, and performed the fan favorite “Nike’s on my Feet.”
Miller performed most of his songs at a higher tempo than the studio versions, which he then did with “Senior Skip Day,” demonstrating his prowess in delivering a high-energy hip-hop set. Engaging the crowd with not just his lyrical talent, Miller stopped his performance to autograph several caps, which he tossed into an eager audience.
The set took an interesting turn when Miller, showcasing the range of his talents, brought an electric guitar on stage to play excerpts of 50 Cent’s “Wanksta,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So,” Tupac’s “Thugz Mansion,” Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and The Beatles’ “Blackbird” — all by himself. Still on guitar, Miller then performed a DJ-backed “Another Night,” followed by a showy behind-the-back guitar solo in a great transition back into the regular set.
A medley comprised of songs from the Best Day Ever mixtape including “All Around The World,” “Wake Up,” and an a capella “In The Air” transitioned into a performance of “Poppy,” for which Miller called forth the crowd’s lighters in the intimately dimmed Hub.
Miller closed the set with a number of tracks from his upcoming album Blue Slide Park, performing the album’s title track, “Party on Fifth Ave,” “Smile Back,” and “Frick Park Market,” before ending with two of his hits — “Knock Knock” and “Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza.”
As the young rapper walked offstage, the setlist’s omission of one particular song signaled to every Mac Miller fan in the audience that an encore was coming.
As expected, Miller returned to the stage shortly after to perform his most popular song, “Donald Trump,” before a cheering crowd.
As concertgoers filtered out of the UCen following the show, they could be overheard still ardently singing lyrics from the chorus of the popular final song.
“Take over the world when I’m on my Donald Trump shit / Look at all this money, ain’t that some shit?”