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Five thoughts: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Surrender’s 4-year anniversary party

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Macklemore performs during Surrender and Encore Beach Club’s fourth-anniversary celebration early Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Encore Las Vegas.
Photo: Denise Truscello / WireImage / DeniseTruscello.net

1. Encore’s Surrender Nightclub celebrated its four-year anniversary Wednesday night, ringing in year No. 5 with a special set by Grammy winners Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The hip-hop duo took the club’s poolside stage to a sizable crowd around 1:30 a.m., after fans had been queuing up for nearly two hours. While most nightclub shows consist of maybe three of the artist’s hits, the Seattleites treated the crowd to a full hour of tunes. Frontman Ben Haggerty had infectious energy as he spit his way through the set, from hits like “Thrift Shop” and “White Walls” to lesser-known tracks like “Wing$” and “Ten Thousand Hours.”

Surrender and EBC Fourth Anniversary

2. The backup dancers and backing band really helped to elevate the performance above your typical club show. The musicians routinely interacted with each other and the crowd, and there’s just something about live performance that totally kicks canned music’s ass—props to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for recognizing that. And with costume changes, enthusiasm and sexy moves, the dancers really turned it out, too.

3. The crowd really responded to “Same Love,” basically filling in for an absent Mary Lambert during the track’s catchy chorus. “If you believe in equality put one up to the sky,” Haggerty asked, introducing the song—and a sea of pointed fingers shot up toward the stars.

4. Another crowd-pleaser was “And We Danced,” a solo track released by Haggerty before the duo’s The Heist debut, which turned the throng of iPhone-clutching clubgoers into one, big, sweaty dance party. “Thank you for not being afraid to let it out on the dancefloor,” Haggerty told the crowd. “Thanks for dry-humping the person in front of you.” Let’s just say the crowd had a “really, really, really good time.”

5. After closing the set—and possibly the shortest wait for an encore in concert history (no, seriously, it may have been a minute and a half)—the duo reemerged for a performance of their “Can’t Hold Us” megahit, with Macklemore concluding the set with some signature crowdsurfing.

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Mark Adams joined the Las Vegas Weekly in 2010 and now serves as the magazine’s web editor. You can also ...

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