Photos by Angelo Marchini
Tyler, the Creator blasts the bass into an arena packed with ecstatic moshing.
Jaden Smith gets the crowd warmed up and chanting “Igor!” between tracks featuring backing clips of him posing in or on top of plethora of luxury cars. I think I’m too old to understand the appeal. Couple this with an overwhelming amount of teenagers stood around me and I feel 300 years old.
Jaden ended his set by encouraging us all to cheer as loud as we can for his boyfriend. Tyler takes to the stage as bewigged alter ego Igor. The crowd are pumped and rapping along to new album opener IGOR’S THEME as Tyler dances to the staccato bass and lighting strobes.
The speaker stacks, lighting design and fringed backdrop echoing Tyler’s hairdo are an excellent accompaniment to the lone figure on stage. Tyler has the presence of an entire band, decked out in his blue suit, yellow cravat and sunglasses, he hardly needs the elevating platform and blasts of flame during the set. The richly produced latest album plays to a crowd who know every word, regularly parting and whirling together in a mosh pit on the floor. EARFQUAKE has a particularly beautiful intro with Tyler’s hands dancing over the keys of a white grand piano as he sings a cappella. See You Again encapsulates the dreamy excellence of Flower Boy.
The crowd banter gives a shout to those in the cheap seats – right at the back (“God damn y’all high as fuck”) or side of stage with a view obscured by speaker stacks where the fans get to “look at the silhouette of my ass for an hour.”
If Flower Boy and IGOR are a more mature, tolerant Tyler, I can definitely do without the misogynistic bullshit of Goblin-era Tyler. Although it might be a case of the obligation to sing fan favourites, it’s disconcerting to see excited 18 year old boys yelling “cunt” along with their idol. You can be an irreverent provocateur all you want but don’t pretend its ok to call people bitch and faggot, whether you’re in the midst of coming out, or just plain queer bating.
Tyler’s got moves and his musical evolution and maturing lyrics are what brought me here. Ditch the immature bile and I’m all in. The rest of the crowd don’t need to be convinced. They hung on every word.