Before I begin, I must say that a Tyler, the Creator show really is not for everyone. If you are, in any way, claustrophobic, not comfortable with physical contact from strangers, not inclined to get rowdy or not a fan of loud, sometimes obnoxious, music then you will not fully enjoy all that an Odd Future show has to offer. If none of these things apply to you, grab a bottle of whiskey, as many friends as you can that you know will let loose with you and go see Tyler, the Creator when he comes to your city.
I went to see Tyler, the Creator on Friday, March 22 at the Opera House in Toronto, Canada. This is actually my second time seeing him live as I went to see the Odd Future show almost a year and a half ago when they stopped in Toronto. After having such a great time at that show, I knew I had to get my dose of Odd Future-style recklessness again.
I arrived at the venue feeling quite nice after sitting at a nearby bar for a good while and the first thing I noticed was the amount of seemingly prepubescent boys walking around. I quickly remembered that the event was all-ages and scurried upstairs to the 19+ area to wait for either Syd or Taco to come out for one of their hype DJ sets. I am not usually a fan of this particular style of trap music, however, I make sure to embrace the songs for what they are and use them to get myself pumped up for when Tyler hits the stage and performs some of his high energy hits. After a short time, Taco came on stage and played some notable tracks from Waka Flocka and even Schoolboy Q’s smash hit “Hands on the Wheel”.
Tyler then hit the stage with Jasper as his hype man and Taco remaining as the acting DJ. A random beat bled through the speakers which was very mellow, but really built up the anticipation of what the rapper from Los Angeles would open up with. He started with the song “French!” off Bastard and the crowd instantly went nuts. I still found myself at the 19+ balcony area which overlooked the part of the crowd that experienced the most pandemonium near the front of the stage. Nonetheless, it was still very easy to keep my energy and spirits high because I was surrounded by good company. Tyler followed that up with two more high energy songs to keep the crowd happy as he performed “Sam (Is Dead)” and “Tron Cat” next.
One thing I instantly noticed was that the quality of the audio was not exactly top notch. The beats were often muffled and the levels of Tyler’s vocals with respect to the instrumentals could have been tweaked and optimized more. It is always hard to determine whether this issue should be attributed to the artist or the venue. Either way, it is not really encouraged to go to a Tyler, the Creator show solely to enjoy the quality of the music as you can really get a lot more out of the experience as a whole.
Tyler then delved into some songs from Wolf and then went back to more familiar territory by performing more songs from Bastard and Goblin. At this point, it was apparent that it was time to go downstairs and get into the thick of the crowd. We headed downstairs after some more encounters with our friend Jack Daniels and really started to get into the music. For the last quarter of the set, we managed to get 10-15 feet from the stage. The crowd up there was rough, invasive and careless all the while being amazing.
In the past three years I have gone to quite a few different shows in Toronto from all different genres. One thing that I have realized, which is imperative to have a good time at a live concert, is to really understand and try and predict what kind of crowd you are going to deal with. It is very likely that going to an Odd Future show completely oblivious to how it will be can lead to a bad experience. With that being said, if you are up to full-out mosh to some rap music (which is definitely a rare thing) you will have a great time. As I alluded to earlier, I have definitely previously been to shows before where I was able to experience some amazing sounding audio. The same thing cannot necessarily be said for this particular Tyler, the Creator show but what I can say is that I had a hell of a lot of fun.
I tried to keep track of a setlist throughout the show but definitely failed at keeping an accurate one because of the altered state of mind I was experiencing…especially near the end of the set. Below is exactly what the setlist I ended up writing on my phone looks like. (Try not to laugh, please)
Sam is Dead
Tron cat ½
Song with piano beat
We got bitches
Beamer – Wolf
Wolf song – went in on verse with mediocrre beat
New album song wolf – domo 23
Seven beat then acappelle verse seven verse
Butch suck dick
2 song left !!!!!!!!!!