Macklemore, Talib Kweli & Wale Rock IU Concert

The trio of rappers descended on Bloomington, with the set featuring cameo appearances on stage by basketballers Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford.

A roaring crowd of IU students welcomed ginger-domed pop/rap artist Macklemore on stage at Bloomington’s Assembly Hall on April 17, and the Little 500 concert headliner opened his set with the song “Ten Thousand Hours” from his latest release The rapper, whose popularity skyrocketed after his album The Heist dropped in October 2012, completed his electrifying performance with audience interactions, stage acrobatics, and crowd surfing.

During the hit “Thrift Shop,” which centers on the artist’s penchant for secondhand-store style purchases, Macklemore had an audience member send up a ratted and torn fur coat. This will go down in history as the best song ever about Goodwill and grandpas.

Two other rappers who performed, the seasoned emcee Talib Kweli and newer star Wale, both brought energetic performances and pulled songs from across their well-established catalogs.

Shout-outs to the IU men’s basketball team were a common thread among all the performances. Both Wale and Macklemore wore Indiana jerseys during their sets. Wale even brought the members of the team who attended on stage: Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford, and Hanner Mosquera-Perea and more joined him and danced around during one of Wale’s amped-up songs.

Photos by Michael Schrader