A sea of supreme hoodie wearing teens pass a fan’s phone on stage to Odd Future leader and star of tonight Tyler The Creator. It’s clear from the moment he answers the phone he’s not the nicest guy about. “We’re all having so much fun here, enjoy your miserable night loser!” he tells the friend, the crowd erupting into laughter.
You might be wondering how having such an attitude could still mean that you could fill up the Barrowlands but conveniently enough, that’s all part of the Tyler experience. Whereas rappers like Kanye will go into hour long rants about Nike and all sorts, Tyler would rather call the crowd “cockheads” and start chants to slag off his friend Jasper. I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t add to the experience as it does benefit it greatly, making the gig a hybrid of music and stand up.
Then again that’s what everyone came for tonight: the music. Cherry Bomb was Tyler’s latest album and although it has split fans in half, his performance was nothing short of extra ordinary. People may complain about a lack of showmen in music nowadays, which I totally disagree with, but if they saw Tyler’s performance on Tuesday they’d eat their own words. He acts like he owns the stage and has the Barrowlands in his back pocket, at one point even stopping to conduct the crowd down the middle, making each side chant “Golf Wang” like a satanic cult.
Speaking of which, the songs Tyler is renown for are often plagued with controversy and they were on show tonight, Tron Cat being a shining example of this. A song full of wordplay and hypocritical phrases, the transition from album to stage is smooth and, in the context of the album, manages to show the warped mental state of the 24 year old.
The setlist as a whole was exceptionally strong, spanning all 3 of his studio albums with hits like Domo 23 getting the crowd going wild and closing track Tamale acting like an adrenaline shot to leave fans on a high. The highlight for me and for many in the audience was Yonkers, a track that holds some of the best lines I’ve heard in hip-hop. It was beautiful to see everyone take a minute from thrashing and jumping about to shout the lyrics word for word along with Tyler.
Odd Future, the hip hop collective that Tyler formed back in the mid noughties, have came a long way since they were founded. Not only have they move away from the crass shock value that had news outlets labelling them a menace to society but members like Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean are critically praised musicians. Tyler will always be energetic, a bit of a loose nut and offensive to somebody but this doesn’t take away from how fun it is to watch him perform on stage.