Preview: Mac Miller at the Fall Welcome Concert

B.o.B and Far East Movement performed for students at the 2012 Fall Welcome Concert. Rap artist Mac Miller will headline this year’s Fall Welcome Concert on Aug. 19 at Wells Fargo Arena. (Photo by Sam Rosenbaum)

B.o.B and Far East Movement performed for students at the 2012 Fall Welcome Concert. Rap artist Mac Miller will headline this year’s Fall Welcome Concert on Aug. 19 at Wells Fargo Arena. (Photo by Sam Rosenbaum)

When I first found out about Mac Miller playing the ASU welcome concert, I was met with terrorizing memories of the 2011 SnapBack Revolution. It was the worst of times and the best of times seemed afar; and Mac Miller’s radio hit “Knock Knock” served as the anthem to haunt my dreams.

Mac Miller playing the welcome concert didn’t surprise me. If you listened to his old material, you could have guessed that he was the next logical step following a two-year stretch of acts like B.o.B. and Far East Movement. He made safe radio hits that were sure to please a wide-eyed ASU freshman class chasing the celebratory dreams of our school.

But this Mac Miller is not necessarily the one we have today. Like us, Miller emerged from the tumultuous SnapBack Revolution a better person — and particularly, a better artist.

I have yet to really dive into his new album, “Faces,” but it seems to have picked up critical attention where “Watching Movies” left off.

However, his 2013 release, “Watching Movies With The Sound Off,” was a dramatic step forward. With a number of features from rap all-stars such as Earl Sweatshirt. Tyler, the Creator, and Schoolboy Q, Miller put together an album that showcased his skills as an artist and his capability to grow.

“Watching Movies With The Sound Off” took me by surprise. Where most of his work has been repetitive and boring, this album explored the soundscape in ways I didn’t think Miller would. That’s not to say it is mind blowing, but it’s a solid showcase of his progression as an artist: he takes it seriously; he isn’t lazy.

The mere existence of this album makes me excited for the welcome concert.

Sadly, I doubt his host of features will join him (how sick would it be if they did?), but I am sure that Miller’s showmanship will come alive. He is in front of the demographic that made him famous, after all.

The Fall Welcome Concert will be held on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. in Wells Fargo Arena. If you haven’t already reserved your ticket, you can pick one up at the Sun Devil Ticket Office from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the same day as the concert.

 

Reach the reporter at zjenning@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @humanzane.