Live review: Robin Thicke and Macklemore at Terminal 5

The "Blurred Lines" crooner welcomed special guest Macklemore to a pre-VMA concert in Manhattan.

Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke

The offbeat gaggle that frequently populates Terminal 5 was nowhere to be found at the pre-VMA concert hosted by Time Warner Cable and MTV last Friday, August 23. In their place instead were white plush lounge chairs, a Baked by Melissa vending machine, ladies in stilettos—oh, and crooner Robin Thicke, along with surprise guest Macklemore.

Opening the show, Macklemore waltzed onstage with his posse: Ryan Lewis and his two trombone players. The Seattle-based rapper greeted the crowd with compliments, referencing "grown-ass sexy women in the audience," and kept the charming banter going for the rest of his five-song set. The group duo opened with “Ten Thousand Hours,” but as soon as Macklemore made mention of his gold chain, the crowd perked up for “Thrift Shop."  

Thicke’s set had more of a split personality: He sang Kanye West’s hit “Clique,” and a rendition of Al Green’s “Let's Stay Together,” along with other Thicke originals, including his Justin Timberlake–esque piano ditty, “Pretty Lil’ Heart.” The now-recognizable star opened his set with the most recognizable of his songs, “Blurred Lines,” his first No. 1 hit after years in the trenches. Thicke, like Macklemore, also came with a posse: three backup singers who looked uncannily like those in the “Blurred Lines” video and his smartly dressed band, Black Daddy. 

Highlights from the blue-eyed soul singer’s eight-song set included the pop-heavy “Shakin' It for Daddy” and “Oh Shooter,” a throwback to Thicke’s 2003 album, A Beautiful World. As he performed, Thicke threw the jacket of his three-piece suit into the swooning crowd and then finished off by striking a Saturday Night Fever–inspired pose and blowing smoke off an imaginary gun.

The two chart toppers also made appearances at Sunday’s VMAs, where Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took home awards for best hip-hop video and best cinematography for their single “Can’t Hold Us,” and best video with a social message for “Same Love.”

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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