Mac Miller proves worth the year-long wait for Pittsburgh show

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An army of fans wearing "Most Dope!" T-shirts, throwback athletic jerseys and a variety of Pittsburgh-themed apparel stood before the stage awaiting their general's orders.

"When I say Mac, you say Miller!" said the opening disc jockey, the crowd replying to each of his calls.

Then, the self-proclaimed Most Dope General, Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, arrived.

"Pittsburgh, we home!" he yelled, before diving into "Loud," one of his most aggressive tracks.

It had been just under a year since Miller last performed in his hometown, choosing the decadence of Los Angeles over the Steel City when he purchased his mansion in 2012. Tonight, armed with his latest album "Watching Movies with the Sound Off," Miller proved to his fans why he was worth the wait.

"I'm gonna get that Grammy soon!" yelled Miller, who was dressed in an Andrew McCutchen Pirates jersey and a matching Pirates fitted hat. The crowd responded with the ensuing lyrics, roaring back an expletive. "Jordan gonna hand me shoes!" he continued, tilting his head towards the stage in anticipation of another loud burst of curse words from the audience.

Though previous performances -- and the beginning of tonight's show -- closely resembled large parties, the latest stop on his "Space Migration" tour took more time to showcase Miller's rapping abilities, rather than simply providing a fun atmosphere -- the theme of his K.I.D.S. mixtape, which made a brief appearance in the form of tracks "Knock Knock" and "Nikes On My Feet."

The change represents what many have deemed a more mature artist.

"America, the standard of vanity when the camera's up/We become celebrities distant from the hysteria," Miller rapped a capella, something he would do a half dozen times throughout the show.

Though Miller used the aid of a DJ, he also enlisted the help of The Internet, the band who have become a constant on his tour. Picking up a guitar, Miller added to the instrumentation, giving songs like "Best Day Ever" a ska feel reminiscent of Matisyahu.

Other songs involved Miller rocking out on top of a speaker between the band, which was in full swing, and the DJ, who scratched during the instrumental section to give the track an Incubus-like vibe.

At one point, Miller even performed a solo of his own.

From choruses of "Go crazy! Go crazy! Go crazy!" to self-reflection on his journey to stardom, Miller used his full arsenal Friday night. The crowd wasn't disappointed.

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Andrew Gretchko: agretchko@post-gazette.com or on Twitter: @Andrew_Gretchko


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