The first thing I saw when I pulled up to the Odd Future concert in Tempe, Arizona was the last thing I wanted to see; a line. Not just any line, mind you. A line that went from the front door all the way across the street to the other end of the street. Needless to say this wasn’t a very good start to what was supposed to be the greatest concert of all time.
Two hours, two bottles of water, several panic attacks, and a thorough backpack search later, I had finally entered the Marquee Theater. I rushed to buy a shirt quickly before the show started, and then made my way into the auditorium. As I entered, I realized that it really wasn’t as crowded as I had original anticipated, which was a definite relief. I made my way into the crowded, nudging between the drunk and the scary, hoping to find a good spot. Alas, no standing room of the such was found. Everything was blocked by people that were far too tall to even be allowed in an auditorium or concert hall. At this point it was about 8:15-8:30 PM. The ticket advertised an 8 PM show time, which in most cases means 8:30. I had to be home at 11:30, so I was trying to be as time conscious as I could. As careful as I was to look at my phone every now and then, the minutes kept moving, and there was still no sign of a concert starting.
The clock struck nine and at that point I was almost certain that I was going to have to leave early. About 10 more minutes passed, and finally, DJ Syd Tha Kyd, Odd Future’s only female member, entered the stage to warm the crowd up. I breathed a sigh of relief. Knowing OF’s antics, they weren’t going to have breaks to bring out new acts, it’d just be non-stop. Thankfully, my hypothesis was confirmed. For the next 100 minutes, it was a non-stop barrage of rap, jumping, dancing and screaming; a water-less one I might add. Syd’s opening set got the crowd jumping, ready for anything. Then, the moment we’d all been waiting for arrived. Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Mike G, Domo Genesis, Jasper Dolphin, and the infamous Tyler, The Creator joined the stage. As an enormous fan, it literally felt like Greek Gods entering the arena, a dramatic analogy, but an accurate one nonetheless.
The rest of the concert was great. Being Odd Future’s last stop on their tour, they went crazy. Crowd surfing, constant crowd interaction, and chucking water bottles at the audience were just a few of the things that Tempe had the chance to experience. The set list was extremely diverse, showcasing all members of Odd Future, not just Tyler. Though he is the “leader” of the group, he never dominated the stage or took charge. He acted like everyone else, someone who just wanted to have fun, which can be hard sometimes with all of that pressure.
As for the crowd, everyone looked like there was having an amazing time, save for a couple who actually got into a fist fight right behind me (nothing like some good ol’ fashioned domestic violence). There was one particularly funny moment when a concert-goer right next to me yelled out “Jasper’s a fat-ass bitch!” Tyler and Hodgy loved it, and he ended up getting a shirt from Hodgy himself for free. I think that guy’s night was pretty much made after that. There was a lot less Security interference then I had originally anticipated, sans one moment when a group of people, in close proximity to me I might add, started smoking a pretty big joint. Security caught a whiff, but they couldn’t catch the culprits.
Out of concert reviews, and into the real world. OF’s rise to fame has definitely not been free of controversy. Many organizations, including and especially GLAAD, has criticized the group for its misogynistic and homophobic lyrics, as well as a recent incident with producer/rapper Left Brain involving an assault against a photographer at a recent show. At first, photographer Amy Harris denied any reports that she would in fact be pressing charges, until she allegedly began receiving threatening email and phone threats from unnamed attackers. She claimed that threats were made that included killing her and raping her family. At first, she sincerely expected an apology, but got the exact opposite.
But, onto more lighthearted and happier subjects, 2012 is going to be a pretty good year for OF. Tyler’s much-anticipated album Wolf is going to be released, as is MellowHype’s 3rd LP Numbers. Also, OFWGKTA will be getting their own 15 minute sketch comedy show entitled Loiter Squad, premiering on Adult Swim in early 2012. OF’s media hype may be dying down, but their fans remain as loyal as ever.
Oh and, uh, FREE EARL!