Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review: Odd Future at Emo's

Amidst the crowd of twenty-something year-olds and teenagers chain smoking for the thrill was a sense of urgency. The need to be entertained by something as raw as it is playful, as violent as it is sweet, and as rebellious as it is innocent. The crowd was happy, patient, and alive as they danced and laughed through tracks DJ'd by Odd Future's own Taco Bennett. All you could see was a long white tee and an afro as his narrow frame opened up the show and rocked out to song after song, stepping from behind the decks on occasion to throw water bottles out to the fans and give a few high fives. The crowd was pumped and energies were at an all time high as Taco spun his last track which in turn generated an entire set list.

One by one they came out and did their piece. Earl Sweatshirt was the first on the mic quickly killing everyone's anxiety for his return. Vocals overlapped as other members of Odd Future (looking like a famous 90's hip hop group) slowly came out from hiding to join in on the song. With the arrival of Tyler, The Creator (their elusive leader of sorts) it was made clear that he was a bit under the weather. Voice raspy and throat bubbly, he made sure to let everyone know of his sickness by drooling into the crowd and seldom apologizing with a faint shrug for not hitting certain notes correctly. Everyone was charmed.  Odd Future fully covered the stage and each member had a very hyped presence as they dished out hits like "Tron Cat", "Radicals," "64", "Chum", and "Rella" as the crowd screamed back every word, even taking it upon themselves to sing the entire first part of "Yonkers" with no assistance. At one point, I remember looking out into the crowd and seeing a girl in a black lace bra helicoptering her tee shirt as she sat perched atop someone's shoulders. Somewhere else in the crowd was a boy no older than 15 crowd surfing and trying not to lose his shoes in the process. The group members rarely left the stage, Tyler sometimes climbing up on a speaker to pose and joke with the crowd when he wasn't needed on vocals. It's pretty safe to say that there was never a low point in the show. The group had excellent crowd control and presented a certain level of maturity in what they did. Seeing them live diminished any review I had read about a bunch of skater kids running amok on stage. This chaos was systematic with its own highs and rest points strategically placed within each members rhythms. Songs smoothed into each other like a never ending score, each voice complimenting the last only to come together as one melodic force. "Sandwiches" was the grand finale and appeared to be everyone's favorite choice. After a few more mosh pits, crowd surfs, and joints(?) the show was finally over and the few parents who had accompanied their kids to the concert frantically looked about.

All in all Odd Future presented a decent amount of songs from their hefty catalogue and performed both as individuals in the spotlight and as a full on group. Their set list would've pleased fans whether old, new or skeptical and each members performance was bold, charismatic, and fresh. No use of fancy lighting or fog machines. Just pure youth and a certain freedom of existence.