If you had mentioned Macklemore a year ago, anyone other than hardcore hip-hop hunters would wonder whether you were talking about a tractor, a tree or a single-malt whisky.
But if you had mentioned the nom de plume of 29-year-old Seattle rapper Ben Haggerty in the past two months, people would probably have begged you for a ticket to Sunday night's sold-out, one-off and never-to-be-repeated performance at the Festival Gardens for PIAF.
Thirteen hundred party people packed into the venue, with hundreds more filling the bar area simply to listen to Macklemore and his partner in rhyme, 24-year-old producer and video director Ryan Lewis, bust out a 17-song concert that was the most fun you could have with your op-shop clothes on.
Two massive hit singles certainly helped to build anticipation, and Mack and Co. did not leave the smashes until the end, dishing up Thrift Shop and Same Love in the first half of the gig.
At the final stop on a whirlwind Australian tour featuring seven gigs in seven days, Haggerty and Lewis were joined on stage by singers Michael "Wanz" Wansley (who sings the hook to Thrift Shop) and Ray Dalton (who stars on the next hit single, the frenetic Can't Hold Us), plus trumpet player Owuor Arunga.
The stars matched the energy of the fans, opening with Ten Thousand Hours, an ode to the hard work Haggerty has put in since he was a teenager, describing his approach as like author "Malcolm Gladwell, David Bowie meets Kanye West".
Admirably the show did not stick to cuts from their debut studio album, The Heist, dropping the harder Crew Cuts and Killers- sampling Life is Cinema before grabbing a "koala fur" jacket from the crowd and welcoming "the king of the op-shop" Wanz onstage for Thrift Shop - and the party really started.
Ryan's visuals were as deft as his DJ-ing, particularly on the 2010 fan favourite Otherside, which samples the Red Hot Chili Peppers song of the same name and deals with Haggerty's drug problems. The rapper admits that he battles his addictions every day but the recent success is helping the gifted musician become the man he wants to be.
"Never in my life did I expect this song to go to No. 1 in Australia," he gushed during one of his frequent onstage sermons before playing Same Love. The preacher to the converted strode the stage, clearly proud that his marriage-equality anthem had struck a chord so far and so wide.
"How many old people do we have here," Haggerty asked afterwards, clearly surprised that so many "50s babies" were in the diverse crowd. "I just wanted to make the old people feel at home."
The show peaked on the rowdy Can't Hold Us, which is rising up the charts on downloads alone, but will surely join Thrift Shop and Same Love in high rotation on radio.
A man of contrasts, the chart- topping white rapper sang about spending his recently earned money on a Cadillac in the song White Walls before dishing up the anti-consumerist ode Wing$.
The main set concluded with Victory Lap and Gold; the latter Passion Pit-esque number saw Lewis crowd surf and do some annoyingly shouted vocals.
The encore kicked off with the 2010 party rap ditty And We Danced, a silly song that Haggerty performs in a mullet wig with an English accent - it's sort of the Lonely Island meets LMFAO.
He reverted back to his hoarse American brogue for the celebration of his Irish heritage, waving a tricolour flag along to Irish Celebration, exactly one month before St Patrick's Day.
The vibe in the Gardens was incredible: everyone danced, sang along and followed Macklemore's every instruction. Each utterance of "Perth" brought huge cheers.
The mutual appreciation society concluded with a second airing of Thrift Shop, which raised some eyebrows, but most people were too busy dancing to care.
To borrow a line from the hit: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were f ing awesome.
The starsmatched the energy of the fans, opening with Ten Thousand Hours, an ode to the hard work Haggerty has put in since he was a teenager.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.