Mac Miller gets freaky at Freakfest, Madison

Ahh yes, another year of the famous Freakfest, the festival that turns the streets of Madison, Wisconsin into an unruly mess of drunks, traffic congestion and mediocre Halloween costumes. Landing on the same day as the Wisconsin Badgers homecoming football game, the city of Madison was in for a real treat as they tried to keep control of the medium sized city dubbed college town.

Freakfest in the past few years has been nothing like it was when it first started. The early years are stained with memories of borderline riots of 80,000+ people menacing the quaint streets of downtown Madison.

Shortly after the city took control, arrests and other crimes took a steep dip and the fest was a little more enjoyable. Freakfest isn’t a place for kids though. It isn’t even a place for people who love music. Freakfest is just another excuse for an already unruly-drunk-out of control student dominated city to roam the street and get a little bit more crazy than they would on a normal weekend. If you have a short temper or very little patience for people running around in every direction, don’t go.

As the night pressed on and the temperature dropped, so did the tolerance level for out of control attendees. Security took more than a few outside the perimeter of the festival and a few even got a little more than they bargained for as they were swiftly tackled after jumping the backstage fence.

Almost everyone was in a costume, either store bought or homemade. Some were better than others, but definitely not as creative as last year’s Freakfest.

By the time Mac Miller’s obnoxiously late set time rolled around tens of thousands had packed themselves onto State Street in front of the Capitol stage just in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol building. There were people as far as I could see. It was very impressive. In fact, it might have been the only impressive thing I saw that night.

Openers for Mac Miller were decent and at times I though they were even better than Mac himself. Prof was the final act before Mac took the stage, but he actually did a great job and had a really fun time in the freezing weather.

The second stage a couple blocks down on state street was bumpin’ for most of the night as it featured DJ’s who built up the hype for Big Gigantic, making a stop at Freakfest on their current tour. They too drew a respectable crowd. Their music is a little different than Mac Miller so the addition of them as a headliner was a great idea to change the crowd demographic up a bit.

This year’s Freakfest was probably one of the better one in recent memory in terms of talent. Mac Miller is a pretty big a steadily growing name in the rap world and $12 dollar tickets sell pretty fast when the streets of Madison become an all out free for all for live music.

Mac Miller gave a decent show at best. It unfortunately wasn’t his whole production like you see on a normal tour. It was just Mac and his music. For some that’s enough though, and I’m sure the age group that was there really didn’t care if he had awesome visuals or not. They were there for Mac.

Mac drew from almost every facet of his music though he primarily played music from K.I.D.S. and his first studio album Blue Slide Park.

From what I’ve heard though, a lot of people were disappointed with his performance at Freakfest. I would have to agree with them, but only for a few parts of the show. Many of the songs were insane and had the crowd out of control. Of course this isn’t the full production show as this is just a small festival, and really what do you expect for a measly $12 ticket? Personally I though the show was pretty good as a whole minus the boring production. Mac rocked, but from a reviewer standpoint, I’ve seen him better than this.

When Mac Miller was playing you almost forgot that it was freezing cold out. He really brought the night together. Whether you had a bad time waiting for him to take the stage or not, Mac gave a pretty solid show overall.

For the electronic crowd, Big Gigantic was amazing. According to a few people they were even better than the performance Mac Miller put out, but that’s a whole different type of fan. Let’s face it, there isn’t a huge mixture of fans who like both Mac Miller and Big Gigantic.

As if the entire production wasn’t a daunting task in itself, when the party ended law enforcement’s night had just started. Making sure everyone vacates the area in a civil manner is something they’re all concerned about.

By far Mac Miller was one of the best acts Freakfest has brought to the Madison streets and I think Wisconsin gave him a run for his money when our tens of thousands of voices were screaming right on back at him.

Mac Miller


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