Reviewed on Thursday June 6
Walking down King St towards Enmore, I overheard a young couple: “Did you see that queue at Enmore? I can’t believe all the people out tonight – I HATE Odd Future fans.” Truth be told, despite the hype, when I rocked up to the venue the ‘out of control’ crowds I’d been warned of were nowhere to be found, and in their place was a ragtag bunch of comparatively unthreatening rap enthusiasts, many in their teens, who (in homage to their idols) were decked out in Golf Wang t-shirts, bucket hats, shorts, pull-up socks and floral print shirts.
Odd Future member Taco opened the show with a quick DJ set, pumping crowd pleasers such as Kid Cudi’s ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’and whipping the fans up into a veritable frenzy before being joined on stage by Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler, The Creator and Jasper, who tipped things off with ‘French’ off Tyler’s Bastard mixtape. “What’s up asshole?” taunted Tyler, with a playful tone and a smirk on his face. “This is the part where we drink Red Bull so we can be on as fuck for you guys”. Tyler dominated audience interactions throughout the show, mixing genuine appreciation with teasing remarks. He also fleetingly addressed the controversy surrounding his lyrical content when he sarcastically asked the audience, “so how many of you are having a bad time tonight? Like a really bad time and are going to go rape or murder someone after this?” Despite his overall facetiousness and tongue-in-cheek demeanour, the banter took a distinct turn for the worst when Tyler launched a diatribe against an activist who was trying to revoke his visa. While I’m not easily offended and seriously doubt Tyler’s (or any of his fans’) conviction in following up said threats, it was vitriolic and unnecessary in what was an otherwise extremely fun and energetic performance.
The set list was a mix of songs from both Tyler and Earl, and included their early hits as well as tracks off Tyler’s recently released album Wolf and Earl’s forthcoming album Doris (both of which show artistic and lyrical growth). Personal highlights included Tyler’s Yonkers (the audience chanting back the first bar) and Tron Cat, and the Earl tracks Whoa, Drop and, of course, his breakout classic, Earl.
Throughout the entire set, their energy, commanding stage presence, flawless delivery and confidence were impossible to ignore, and surpassed many MCs twice their age. They closed with Sandwiches, at which point the boys instructed the crowd to open up a death circle. By metal standards, the circle was pretty tame, and served to illustrate that most of Odd Future’s behaviour (however attention-seeking or offensive) seems somewhat staged, self-conscious and constructed. At the end of the day, the most genuine impression to emerge from the night was that of two young MCs with commanding stage presence, innovative beats and undeniable musicality, who are surely here to stay.
BY MARISA LUGOSI