On Friday, August 23, Time Warner Cable and MTV hosted a free pre-VMA concert headlined by chart-topping artist, Robin Thicke, at Terminal 5. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis even made a surprise appearance. Thicke and Macklemore happen to be two of the most nominated MTV VMA artists this year. The event with over 2,000 attendees was part of a series of VMA's-themed concerts and events that took place across New York City and Brooklyn leading to the 2013 “MTV Video Music Awards” on Sunday, August 25.
Macklemore greeted the crowd by saying, “New York, how you doing tonight? Grown-ass sexy women in the audience aka Robin Thicke fans.” He opened with "Ten Thousand Hours" with Ryan Lewis and his trumpet and trombone players by his side. He said how he’d used to watch the VMA's at his parents’ home and how excited he was to be performing at this year’s awards event. Opening the night, he performed hit, “Thrift Shop” with Wanz singing the hook. The crowd was pumped as Macklemore jumped up and down and clapped his hands to the beat.
"I believe in a world where we are free from judgment, free from oppression, and where we can all be treated equally," Macklemore stated as he segued into “Same Love” with Mary Lambert, an outspoken LGBTQ activist singing the original vocals. “Same Love” is nominated for “Best Video With A Social Message” at this years VMA's. Macklemore invited everyone in the audience to an after-party in his white Cadillac as he sang “White Walls.” He topped the night with favorite “Can’t Hold Us” with Ray Dalton. He got the audience to put their hands up as he crowd-surfed through screaming fans. It was a memorable way to end his performance.
Crowd pleaser Robin Thicke also made sure to leave a lasting impression on the audience that night. He came onstage in a three-piece suit and shades singing in a soulful gospel way “Are you ready? I said are you ready? New York are you ready?” Opening with his ever popular, “Blurred Line” with his backup dancers looking uncannily like the ones from the video, Thicke got the crowd jumping. Thicke sang favorites “Take it Easy on Me”, “Pretty Lil’ Heart”, “Wanna Love You Girl”, and “Shakin' It For Daddy”. He performed his beautiful ballad “Dreamworld” on the piano; serenading not only crowd, but his wife Paula Patton was in the audience during this sultry performance. Thicke worked up such a sweat during his performance of “Shooter” that he threw his jacket off to the back of the stage. “Lost Without U” was a popular number as the audience sang the chorus to song. Thicke got down on both knees and touched the crowd in a very intimate moment. Closing the night, he covered an oldie but goodie “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. Leaving the stage he sent the crowd soaring in cheers as him and his crew broke out and danced to Big Sean, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Clique," an unexpected and awesome way to end the night!
The evening benefited Lifebeat, a national nonprofit focused on educating America’s youth about HIV/AIDS prevention.
With reporting by Yanique Bourjolly.